Wisconsin Indianhead Technical College, Broward College and WyoTech Daytona were selected as recipients of the 2014 MRAA Technical Scholarships. Scholarship winners were announced by MRAA Educational Foundation board member Jeff Siems of Blue Springs Marine on Wednesday morning, Nov. 19, during the Marine Dealer Conference & Expo Awards Breakfast at the Rosen Centre Hotel in Orlando, Fla.
Each of the three schools received a $3,000 scholarship to help train students for technical careers in the recreational boating industry.
“Developing new talent is of the utmost importance for our retail marine businesses to grow and thrive,” says Liz Walz, MRAA director of education and executive director of the MRAA Educational Foundation. “As we recover from the country’s recent economic downturn, we see a growing demand for marine service — and we need qualified technicians to fill those open service positions. The aim of these scholarships is to help bring newcomers into the fold and educate them to become the outstanding service employees of tomorrow.”
For the first time this year, MRAA reached out to nearly 40 marine technical programs across North America, inviting them to apply for the 2014 scholarships. After reviewing the applications, the MRAA Educational Foundation decided to award not two, but three scholarships to technical colleges firmly committed to expanding their marine technical offerings and graduating an impressive number of qualified marine technicians annually.
Wisconsin Indianhead Technical College offers a one-and-a-half-year program that trains students to repair marine engines and boat systems. Not only does the school’s training take place on running motors, but the curriculum also makes a point of having students work with local marine businesses to provide real-world experience. Wisconsin Indianhead is a member of the American Boat & Yacht Council and Association of Marine Technicians, and its program graduates between 11 and 20 students each year.
Florida’s Broward College provides students with a 24-month Marine Engineering Management degree to prepare graduates for a career in large yacht maintenance, repair and retrofit. Students typically are employed in boatyards working on multi-million-dollar vessels using the latest equipment and technology. The curriculum was developed in cooperation with ABYC and the Marine Industries Association of South Florida and graduates 20-plus students per year.
WyoTech Daytona offers students a nine-month program designed to help graduates enter the marine repair industry as entry-level technicians. The program focuses on propulsion systems but also covers electrical, electronic and mechanical systems, and typically graduates 20-plus students annually.
The MRAA Technical Scholarship Fund was founded to offer financial assistance for technical training of dealership personnel and was initially underwritten by the OMC Foundation. Any educational institution that provides recreational marine industry technical training is eligible to apply.
For more information, contact Liz Walz at 315-692-4533 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
About MRAA Educational Foundation As part of its mission to create a strong and healthy boating industry, the Marine Retailers Association of the Americas is committed to offering training, education and professional development opportunities to its members and the entire marine dealer community. In 2004, the association launched the MRAA Educational Foundation, a not-for-profit 501(c) 3 corporation, to provide financial support for education, training and professional development in the recreational marine trades. For more information, visit MRAA.com/foundation.
About Marine Retailers Association of the Americas At the Marine Retailers Association of the Americas, we believe that for the marine industry to thrive, the companies that interact with the boater in their community must thrive. Those businesses determine the boater’s experience and are the leading factor in the industry’s success. The MRAA works to create a strong and healthy boating industry by uniting those businesses, providing them with opportunities for improvement and growth, and representing them with a powerful voice. For more information, visit MRAA.com.