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April 2017

The Workforce Crisis

Labor shortages, especially in service and manufacturing, are hampering industry growth Listen to political speeches or check out the news and you’d get the idea that there isn’t a job – especially a good paying blue-collar job – to be found in this country. Statements like “What will it take to bring back domestic manufacturing jobs?” or “Why Trump will struggle ...

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At the helm: Problem No. 1

Quick – what’s your biggest business challenge right now? Not surprisingly, when I go to an industry event or boat show, I try to grab some time with top execs. At the Miami International Boat Show this year, almost every manufacturer I spoke to identified finding competent employees as problem No. 1. And I mean competent, not good – just ...

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The Workforce Crisis: Government funding builds local training programs

While many government training programs have been less than successful, the government can help address the workforce shortages by advocating for and utilizing funding – specifically on the state and local level. The Rhode Island Marine Trades Association offers a pre-apprenticeship program, funded by Real Jobs Rhode Island, to help provide Rhode Island residents 18 and over earn skills needed ...

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The Workforce Crisis: Marine trades association education opens youth to industry

One challenge the industry faces is a lack of awareness of the open jobs in marine trades and the lifelong careers they build. Marine trades associations can introduce young people to the boating industry through a variety of educational programs.  The Rhode Island Marine Trades Association offers a summer marketing internship and a youth summer boatbuilding program to reach these ...

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The Workforce Crisis: Partnerships with local high schools open industry to new students

As four-year university programs have become the main – if not the sole – focus for high school students’ post-secondary path, marine industry companies are putting themselves in front of those students to introduce them to the opportunities in technical careers. SeaDek partners with the Melbourne High Business Academy to expose the academy’s students to local manufacturing opportunities. High school ...

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PWC market targets Millennials with new features, products

Since the very beginning the personal watercraft industry has bucked convention and marched to its own drummer. Back when boats all followed fairly conservative designs, personal watercraft exploded onto the scene with brilliant colors, bold graphics and a huge, motorcycle-like emphasis on matching clothing, wetsuits and more.  As those initial PWC buyers began having families and the expectation was that ...

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The Workforce Crisis: Apprenticeships create funnel of incoming employees

Dealers and manufacturers have implemented apprenticeship programs to address their workforce shortages. These programs often take an employee who has a technical background – in marine trades or otherwise – and trains them on the job with a mentor.  At Russell Marine in Lake Martin, Ala., the apprentices start their six-month trial period at the dealership’s rigging facility, as rigging ...

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The Workforce Crisis: Marine schools offer base education

Marine trades schools offer students the opportunity to learn specifically about the boating industry and its intricacies at the high school and post-secondary level. While these students may require additional training beyond their education, the base provided by these schools is invaluable. The Landing School is a community college in Arundel, Maine, that offers four one-year diploma programs in wooden ...

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