The non-profit MRAA Educational Foundation set a goal of raising $25,000 this year to provide financial support for education, training and professional development in the recreational marine trades.
The funds raised will be directed toward scholarships and awards to train men and women studying to become marine technicians, service employees working to expand their skills, dealership managers and owners seeking to improve and grow their businesses and industry leaders striving to create a stronger marine industry.
The foundation also is exploring ways it can help the boating business attract high school students and veterans to marine industry careers.
“Finding qualified employees to support their growth has been a big challenge for many marine dealers,” foundation executive director Liz Walz said in a statement. “The foundation is currently working to address this challenge by providing financial support to students who are training for careers in the boating business and dealership employees interested in furthering their education, but we also see an opportunity to educate the public about the benefits of working in the recreational marine industry.”
During the Nov. 15-18 Marine Dealer Conference & Expo in Orlando, Fla., the foundation will hand out seven scholarships and awards that together represent $27,325 in technical training and professional development. They include the following programs:
- Two MRAA technical scholarships, which are awarded to marine schools that train students for careers in the industry.
- Two ABYC scholarships, which cover the tuition for one recipient to attend the ABYC’s Introduction to Basic Marine Electric & Corrosion Protection and another recipient to attend one of ABYC's certification courses.
- The Duane Spader Leadership Development Scholarship, which covers the tuition for one recipient to attend Spader Business Management's Leadership Development Program.
- The Kevin Lodder Scholarship, which covers the tuition and provides a travel stipend for each recipient to attend Spader Business Management's Total Management Workshop.
- The Darlene Briggs Woman of the Year Award, which is presented to an outstanding woman who is actively involved in the industry.