Maryland trade group focuses on workforce shortages


The Marine Trades Association of Maryland organized a strategic planning session to address ongoing workforce shortages in the industry.

Though the discussion was regional, the outcome could have national effects, the trade group said.

Members of the Marine Trades Industry Partnership met Feb. 5 at the Podickory Point Yacht and Beach Club for a session that was part of a workforce development initiative that the association has been aggressively leading for the last year.

The focus of the discussion, led by American Yacht and Boat Club president John Adey, was related to the need to attract and train an emerging workforce for the industry.

Adey’s presentation, titled, “MTAM — Education Elicitation,” was designed to create national solutions for the industry.

The team of professionals spent hours identifying visionary ways to create awareness for careers in the industry, attract a youthful workforce, ignite passion, create an optimal industry training curriculum and discern opportunities for long-term workforce development solutions.

The timing of the session was critical because many of the business owners in the room are facing serious staffing shortages.

“It continues to be very beneficial to step out of the trenches of our businesses to work together to solve the workforce and training challenges before us,” said Nancy Bray Booth, general manager of Hartge Yacht Harbor in Galesville, Md. “In fact, the great news for our state is that this growing $2 billion industry and the many jobs associated with it cannot be outsourced.”

The outcome of the discussion included a variety of groundbreaking action items and incubator projects on which the group will focus in the next few months.

The association recently launched an innovative collaboration between EARN Maryland (Employment Advancement Right Now) and the Marine Trades Industry Partnership.

The maritime effort will strive to create a sustainable workforce through a summer paid internship program, incumbent worker training, the cultivation of an engaged employer base and the promotion of training and employment opportunities for the marine trades in Maryland.