Council conducting large marine labor study

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The Marine Industry Training & Education Council launched an industry-wide needs analysis campaign to determine true labor market demand-and-supply needs within the industry.

“Our goal is to obtain at least 1,000 responses to give us the quantity of data we seek, both in terms of training requirements and workforce development needs,” said Ed Sherman, director of MITEC’s professional development division, in a statement.

Once the analysis is completed, anyone working in the marine industry will have access to the information on the MITEC Web site at www.boatingcareerinfo.org. This information will benefit marine associations, trade organizations, manufacturers, dealers, yards, groups or individuals applying for national or state grants, and others who are working to develop marine training programs.

“Whether an organization applies for workforce development funds, economic development funds, or any type of grant, the very first thing the funding agency will want to see is a viable need supported by empirical data,” said Steve Kitchin, MITEC chair and vice president of corporate education and training at the New England Institute of Technology.

Sherman said educational institutions and individuals who are developing marine training programs will also benefit from this information. For example, a school that is establishing a marine training program or curriculum can show how its courses will help build a necessary labor force in a particular geographic area.

“The more responses we receive, the more detailed analysis we will be able to provide, right down to a regional perspective,” said Sherman.

Ed Lofgren, director of MITEC’s Workforce Development Division, said the survey is not just for MITEC, but for the entire industry.

“Many marine trade organizations can’t afford to collect regional data on their own, and that can prevent them from going after funding,” Lofgren said in a statement. “Once MITEC has completed the survey, the results will be available for any and all to use to attain workforce funds that will grow our industry.”

Already, more than 100 people have responded to the survey, and MITEC is encouraging all marine industry employers to participate. To take the survey, go to www.surveymonkey.com/s.aspx?sm=WTvSa6pk4KoF5wiiha_2fufg_3d_3d or visit www.boatingcareerinfo.org.

Links have also been placed on Web sites of the American Boat & Yacht Council, Professional BoatBuilder magazine, the National Marine Manufacturers Association and MITEC’s social networking site www.marinelear.ning.com. Other trade groups or companies interested in posting a link to the survey on their Web sites can contact Barbara Jean Walsh of ProBoat E-Training at proboattraining@earthlink.net for the appropriate code.

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