Steve Arnold, owner of Yarmouth Boat Yard, Moose Landing Marina, and Freedom Boat Club of Maine, recently collaborated with Yamaha Marine and Southern Maine Community College (SMCC) in South Portland, Maine, to combat the challenge of recruiting and retaining qualified marine technicians. The result is a grant-funded extensive Yamaha Outboard Motor Repair training program that is now offered at SMCC free of charge for qualified students.
Arnold has struggled to find skilled marine technicians for several years. After learning more about Yamaha Marine’s Technical School Partnership Program, he took the initiative to work with his Yamaha District Service Manager and the Maine Marine Trades Association, on which he is a board member, to address the need for a program to train certified marine technicians.
“Qualified marine mechanics are a scarce resource. So, we decided to tackle the issue head on. We’ve had a strong business relationship with Yamaha for years, and as a Board Member for Maine Marine Trades Association, it made sense to bring these two great organizations together to help create a program that would attract and train certified marine technicians,” Arnold explained. “We brought in SMCC to pull it all together and assist with the instructional details. We’re very proud of how this hands-on training program has evolved, and thrilled to be able to lend a hand in giving back to the marine industry.”
Designed to help students develop basic knowledge and skills for outboard motor repair, the 150-hour Yamaha Outboard Motor Repair Training course is the latest training program developed by the school in collaboration with local businesses. The class helps provide boatyards and other Yamaha service centers with much-needed skilled workers while improving career opportunities for Maine residents.
It includes classroom learning as well as concentrated hands-on training on multiple Yamaha outboards ranging from the F20 to the F200. Training topics include: engine nomenclature, maintenance charts and descriptions of services, Yamalube lubricants and additives, oil and filter service, water pump service, decarbonizing, valve train maintenance, valve separator tank service, fuel filter replacement, anodes, timing belts and more.
“Maine’s workforce needs are pressing, and we are answering the call,” said SMCC President Joe Cassidy. “The response to this course has been overwhelming, and we currently have a waiting list for the next program.”
Yamaha’s Technical School Partnership Program helps provide schools nationwide current, market-relevant resources, products, certifications, and curriculum for students interested in pursuing a career as marine technicians. Through the program, technical schools can have marine dealer-level access to Yamaha’s business systems, engines, parts, and manuals.
Yamaha Marine currently has more than 75 technical school partners nationwide.
“The marine service industry is in need of many different positions, but qualified and quality technicians are in the highest demand,” said Joe Maniscalco, Yamaha Marine Service Division Manager. “Steve Arnold leveraged the resources Yamaha Marine has to offer and took them to the next level with the development of this course at SMCC. We encourage all dealers to leverage relationships with local technical schools as a means of recruiting the next generation of marine technicians.”