At the Helm: Tackling the labor shortage

I’ve taken several trips visiting manufacturers and dealers this summer and keep hearing one recurring complaint: We can’t find enough help.

There may not be a bigger challenge facing the industry today than the labor shortage.

While the problem first reared its head years ago, the recession pushed it to the sideline for many years. Now, as sales have recovered over the last few years, the lack of qualified personnel – especially in manufacturing and service – has returned as a problem for many companies.

There are a number of efforts underway to find solutions – which we’ll write about in more detail in an upcoming issue – but we’re also trying to help address the issue. In cooperation with several trade associations, Boating Industry is launching the Marine Industry Career Network.

The new interactive career center can be reached at With its focus on marine industry companies, the career center offers the marine industry an easy-to-use and highly targeted resource for online employment connections.

Besides Boating Industry, the Marine Industry Career Network includes the American Boat and Yacht Council, Marine Retailers Association of the Americas, the National Marine Manufacturers Association and the National Marine Distributors Association. Each individual group will host a career center that will then feed into the larger network, delivering the industry’s widest audience for employers and job seekers.

Unlike other online career sites, the MICN was built exclusively for professionals working within the marine industry to provide an effective online recruitment method on a single network. Employers can post jobs online, search for candidates based on specific job criteria and create an online resume agent to email candidates with matching profiles daily.

For job seekers, the career center is a free service that provides access to employers and jobs in the marine industry. In addition to posting their resumes, job seekers can browse and view available jobs based on their needs and save those jobs for later review, if they choose. Job seekers can also create a search agent to provide email notifications of opportunities that match their requirements.

It’s about connecting those looking for jobs to those who need help. By partnering together, we believe our groups can reach a much larger audience – and provide a more valuable service – than any other site out there.

We’ll also be addressing the labor shortage with some of our programming at the 2016 Marine Dealer Conference & Expo, produced by Boating Industry and MRAA. You can find more about those options at

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