Skip to main content

Yamaha’s apprentice program to launch next month

Yamaha Marine Group will formally launch its new apprenticeship program next month. Yamaha has been working with several “pilot” dealerships on beta versions of the program, according to Joe Maniscalco, Yamaha Marine’s service division manager, who is overseeing the program.

“After a year of working on the program materials, we received approval by the U.S. Department of Labor in April 2016,” said Maniscalco. “It would’ve been easy to create a book about apprenticeships and just pass it along to our dealers. But we wanted to do more than reference materials. We need to be the catalyst to allow our dealers to take it from start to finish.”

The Yamaha Marine Apprenticeship Program (YMAP) should have 40 apprentices in its first year, with higher numbers going forward. Maniscalco declined to reveal too many details about the upcoming program, but said it would be based at the dealer level, with factory support from Yamaha. “The dealer will assign a mentor and mentee at their dealership and then we provide an electronic-based learning system and knowledge portal. It’s a step-by-step roadmap for completion,” he said. “The mentee will also have direct contact with Yamaha service personnel and resource materials along the way.”

Basing the program from the dealership, says Maniscalco, will be key to its success. “You can’t learn our trade better anywhere else,” he said. “And when dealers do invest in an apprentice and send them to our facilities, we provide customized training. They’ll get targeted training with groups of peers and we’ll gain apprentice communities we can start to develop.”

The Marine Retailers Association of the Americas (MRAA) estimates that about 31,000 jobs will be unfilled at the dealer level by 2019. Many of those are tech jobs. Ben Speciale, Yamaha Marine Group President, said his company recognized the need for skilled technical labor coming out of the recession. “Our apprenticeship program will be a good way for our company to address that,” Speciale told Trade Only Today at the American Boating Congress (ABC). Yamaha has about 2,000 dealerships in the U.S.A.

“We think this partnership will reduce the stress on dealers to train skilled workers and the specific approaches we’re using will help us develop their workforces,” said Maniscalco. “We’ll do that by using the latest technology and providing centralized support. We want to train people who will be knowledgeable about our latest products and technologies.”

The company’s long-term goal is to develop a larger training program, according to Maniscalco. “My boss [Speciale] is very enthusiastic about this issue,” he said. “He challenged me to create an environment where we can grow technicians, so we’re doing that.” Eventually, the engine and boat builder would like to launch the Yamaha Marine Technician Factory.

Related

1_CMTA.KAWECKI

CMTA Names Managing Director

The trade organization promoted Jen Kawecki, who will help grow its membership and support the Hartford Boat Show.

1_FALLBOATSHOW

AIM Announces Connecticut Fall Boat Show

The show, organized by Active Interest Media, will kick off Oct. 7 in Branford at Bruce & Johnsons Marina.

1_MARINEMAX.IBY

MarineMax to Acquire IGY Marinas

The $480 million transaction gives the company a collection of marina assets and a yacht management platform in key yachting destinations around the world.

1_BRP

BRP Launches Multiple New Products

The company debuted Rotax outboards, new Manitou and Alumacraft models and an electric hydrofoil board.

1_EVERGLADES

Everglades Hires Director

Caroline Cozier will lead the company’s sales initiatives in the Northeast, Mid-Atlantic, Great Lakes and Canada.

1_DEALEROUTLOOK

Three Great Ways To Tick-Off Your Customers

As boat sales normalize, it’s essential to keep the customers you have. Here’s what not to do.

1_CHAPARRAL

Buck Pegg Turns 80

Flags were flown at the Georgia State and U.S capitols in honor of the Chapparal Boats founder’s birthday.