The National Marine Electronics Association (NMEA) has started a Young Professionals Group (YPG) to bring together industry personnel under the age of 40 from diverse backgrounds in marine electronics. The new group's goal is to attract, retain and promote diversity in the next generation of NMEA leaders and to help ensure their success. NMEA membership is not required to be part of the YPG.
The YPG will offer both online and offline environments to facilitate networking by young career-minded people in the marine industry. Members will network and share experiences, knowledge, and personal stories of how they got into the marine electronics industry. Industry veterans will serve as mentors to share their professional experiences and guide group members for success and growth.
In the weeks and months ahead, the YPG will roll out a multi-pronged program that will include these components:
- Create focused content on LinkedIn
- Showcase exceptional members in Marine Electronics Journal
- A mentorship program pairing young professionals with local and veteran industry professionals
- An annual networking event at the NMEA conference along with smaller events around the country
- Biannual field trips to leading organizations, including a Q&A sessions with top officials
- Programs for marine-focused trade schools, including NMEA training
- Stewardship to ensure the sustainability of our industry by partnering with marine conservation organizations
"I've been lucky enough to have worked for some extremely passionate people who have given me plenty of support and opportunities along the way," says NMEA Board member Jason Young. "I came into this industry in my early 20's having some mechanical/electrical experience and a love for the water and boating. I have stayed in the industry because of the support I have received from so many people, including colleagues, customers, and mentors. Paying it forward will help increase exposure and retention of younger people to our industry."
Mark Reedenauer, NMEA President & Executive Director, says, "Young professional groups often cater only to 'white collar' professionals. What makes the NMEA YPG different is that we cater to both blue and white collar professionals, from installers, mechanics, riggers, electricians and designers to sales, marketing, service and office personnel. I view each and every young individual in the marine electronics industry as an emerging professional in their own area of expertise. I invite you all to join us!"
NMEA feels that creation of the YPG is now more important than ever as modern boats continue to expand and adopt the NMEA 2000 Interface Standard. Vessel system components outside of core marine electronics such as air conditioners, engines, watermakers, battery systems and lighting are using NMEA 2000, which can and will expand the outreach of the NMEA YPG.
The YPG will kick off its first event at the upcoming NMEA Conference & Expo in Portsmouth, VA, which will take place September 16-20 at the Portsmouth Renaissance Hotel. On Wednesday evening, September 18, the group will be headed to Top Golf in Virginia Beach, VA. All conference attendees under 40 years old are invited to attend.
Anyone interested in becoming part of the NMEA YPG can join the "NMEA Young Professionals Group" LinkedIn Group, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call (410) 975-9425.