The American Boat and Yacht Council Foundation was awarded a grant from the Kathy and Jerry Wood Foundation to create the first industry-accepted marine technology curriculum.
The grant, along with donations from Yamaha and MarineMax, will allow the foundation to offer the curriculum at minimal cost to schools in need and feed trained students into two-year, post-secondary marine technical schools or directly into the workforce.
The ABYC said the marine industry as a whole is facing a shortage of qualified marine technicians. Ranging from boatyards to manufacturers, the industry is worth more than $121 billion to the U.S. economy. With more than 34,800 businesses employing nearly 500,000 people, the marine sector needs a skilled workforce.
“Many young people are unaware of the career opportunities that are offered within this exciting industry segment,” ABYC vice president and education director Ed Sherman said in a statement.
“This new funding will help us work with our longtime partner [the National Occupational Competency Testing Institute] to develop curriculum that matches the content of our previously published book, Fundamentals of Marine Service Technology, with the goal of preparing and attracting the next generation to choose this path as a career, not just a job.”
Exams will be created in two versions — inland and coastal — to meet the desires and requests from teachers and administrators around the country. Exams will be available in English- and Spanish-language versions.