Arkansas State University-Beebe and Yamaha Motor Corp. U.S.A. partnered to establish an outboard technician program at the college’s Searcy, Ark., campus. A signing ceremony was held Wednesday at Sunrise Marine Center in Searcy, the local Yamaha dealership.
“This partnership and enhanced training program represents a generous commitment by Yamaha Motor Corporation U.S.A. in the form of advertisement, endorsement, training aids, instructional equipment and materials,” Jennifer Methvin, chancellor of ASU-Beebe, said in a statement. “It is a model industry investment in higher education expertise and resources to ensure they can support high-tech training at our institutions.”
The outboard training will be incorporated into the school’s powersports program, in which students learn to repair and maintain outdoor sports vehicles. The two-year program will be the first of its kind in the state open to high-school and college students. Participants from area high schools can take part in the programs through the regional career center at the ASU-Beebe Searcy campus.
“Our goal through these partnership training programs is to train technicians to fill the need for skilled marine service technicians nationwide, and create a career track to supply the industry with skilled technicians well into the future,” said Steve Maciosek, regional service manager for Yamaha U.S.A.
“The impressive part of this program is that it is not simply a training program for our kids; this is a career path,” said Ron Snyder, instructor of powersports at ASU-Beebe. “Graduates of this program can make a career out of this anywhere they want to be live in the nation. And earn good money doing it.”