The Lake Havasu City Marine Association, the Partnership for Economic Development and Mohave Community College in Arizona entered into a partnership to develop a trained marine industry workforce through a marine technology degree program.
“Two of the major boatbuilders in Havasu have expansion plans, and this program will help to generate a qualified workforce that will make it possible for them to secure and expand their investment in the community,” said Jim Salscheider, executive director of the LHCMA.
The initial goal is to establish a viable partnership with the industry association so all parties are represented and served, said Dave White, career and technical education division chair for MCC’s Lake Havasu City campus.
The partners then will establish an advisory panel consisting of two members each from retailers, manufacturers, service providers and the community college, and one member each from the PED and Lake Havasu High School.
“Next, curriculum will be developed with career pathways from the high school through the college course work,” White said. “We are looking primarily at programs for marine technicians, but also at retailing and marketing.”
The long-term partnership goal is to develop a program strong enough to interest major marine industry players in locating test and training facilities in the area.
“Boating is an integral part of the community, and this is a great opportunity to provide training that will make it possible for young people to enter this industry,” said Gary Kellogg, executive director of the Lake Havasu City PED.
According to an economic impact survey done by the PED, the marine industry has a more than $400 million impact on the economy of Lake Havasu City.
That includes $191 million per year generated in direct sales by marine industry businesses, $211 million coming into the community from boaters each year, and more than 900 jobs in the industry.