The ABYC Foundation has hired Margaret Podlich as executive director. The ABYC Foundation is the philanthropic arm of the American Boat and Yacht Council. According to a statement, the foundation is focused on providing resources that “create educational and lifelong career opportunities” for marine service technicians.
“I can’t imagine a more perfect person to be the foundation’s first executive director,” said ABYC president John Adey in the statement. “The ABYC Foundation has some heavy lifting coming up if we hope to move the needle on the population of qualified technicians. Margaret is our best chance of success.”
Podlich retired as president of BoatU.S. in 2016. She has since served as an industry consultant.
“For years, we’ve all been talking about the need to increase the skills and numbers of trained marine techs,” said Podlich in the statement. “There are some wonderful programs out there, but across the country, we are still running in deficit mode. That affects everyone in this industry.”
Podlich said several “necessary ingredients for success” are currently being used to address the skills shortage, including the ABYC ‘Fundamentals of Marine Service Technology’ textbook and scholarship programs.
“But there is a lot of growth opportunity,” she said. “I’m looking forward to strengthening the abilities of the ABYC Foundation and connecting with industry partners to address workforce development issues.”
Podlich will oversee all ABYC Foundation initiatives. They include:
- Marine Service Technology Program to give schools tools needed to implement a standards-based curriculum on topics ranging from shop safety, electrical systems, to engine maintenance and plumbing.
- Engine Donation: Evinrude donated $2 million worth of outboard engines for hands-on training to secondary and post-secondary technology programs.
- The ABYC Foundation established a needs-based scholarship fund to assist students in educational opportunities.
- Living Classroom: A donated 38’ trawler, with an array of boat systems and learning opportunities, will be used to create a unique experience for students interested in careers in the marine industry, at no charge to the schools.
- Boat Donations: The ABYC Foundation is accepting new and used boats. Proceeds from the donations go directly back into foundation programming.