Yamaha dealer and college collaborate for technician training program

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Students get hands-on experience with Yamaha outboards at Southern Maine Community College.

Students get hands-on experience with Yamaha outboards at Southern Maine Community College.

Steve Arnold owns Yarmouth Boat Yard, Moose Landing Marina and Freedom Boat Club of Maine. His businesses are Yamaha outboard dealers and service facilities and, like most marina owners, Arnold finds it difficult to find and keep marine technicians.

Steve Arnold, owner of Yarmouth Boat Yard, Moose Landing Marina and Freedom Boat Club of Maine, collaborated with Yamaha Marine and Southern Maine Community College in Portland to create a grant-funded Yamaha outboard repair training program. SMCC offers the program free of charge for qualified students.

“Qualified marine mechanics are a scarce resource,” Arnold said in a statement. “So we decided to tackle the issue head on.

“We’ve had a strong business relationship with Yamaha for years, and as a board member for Maine Marine Trades Association, it made sense to bring these two great organizations together to create a program that would attract and train certified marine technicians,” Arnold added.

The 150-hour course is the latest training program developed by SMCC in collaboration with local businesses. It is designed to help provide boatyards and Yamaha service centers with skilled workers. The course includes classroom learning and hands-on training.

“Maine’s workforce needs are pressing, and we are answering the call,” Joe Cassidy, SMCC president, said in the statement. “The response to this course has been overwhelming, and we currently have a waiting list for the next program.”

Yamaha’s Technical School Partnership Program helps provide schools with resources, products, certifications and curriculum. Through the program, technical schools can have marine dealer-level access to the engine company’s business systems, engines, parts and manuals. Yamaha currently has more than 75 technical school partners nationwide.

“The marine service industry is in need of many different positions, but qualified and quality technicians are in the highest demand,” said Joe Maniscalco, Yamaha Marine service division manager. “Steve Arnold leveraged the resources Yamaha Marine has to offer and took them to the next level with the development of this course at SMCC.”

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