Yamaha, Florida trade association bring certification program to Ft. Myers Technical College

As part of a continued effort to develop qualified marine technicians, Yamaha Marine and the Marine Industries Association of Southwest Florida and Tampa Bay (MIA of SWFL&TB) teamed up to help provide the funding and equipment to make it possible for Ft. Myers Technical College (FMTC) to offer Yamaha’s new Maintenance Certification Program (MCP) to students during the 2020/2021 school year. MIA of SWFL&TB contributed $10,000 toward the four modules of curriculum, and Yamaha donated an F300 V6 outboard for hands-on instruction in the classroom.

“Like Yamaha, the MIA of SWFL&TB is dedicated to creating solid paths for marine technician career development,” said Gregg Snyder, Marine Training Department Manager, Yamaha U.S. Marine Business Unit. “Ft. Myers Technical College has a long history of providing exceptional instruction to students who choose to pursue careers as marine technicians. We applaud their efforts to work with Yamaha Marine and the Marine Industries Association to bring the four comprehensive modules of Yamaha’s Maintenance Certification Program to the college. Technicians who complete the program will enter the workforce prepared for success.”

Ft. Myers Technical College is a long-standing, active participant in Yamaha Marine’s Technical School Partnership (TSP) program. Launched in 2015, Yamaha’s TSP program aims to develop a stronger marine technician workforce through a certified curriculum, Yamaha systems access and product donations used in the classroom for hands-on training. Yamaha Marine’s TSP program reached its 100th member milestone in October of 2020.

“We’ve been part of the TSP program since the beginning, and our placement rate for students who complete the Marine Service Technologies program is close to 100 percent. Hands-on experience is a vital part of a technician’s training and, through these donations, MIA of SWFL&TB and Yamaha are helping us provide the best training in the industry,” said Mike Esterline, Marine Service Technologies Instructor and Department Chair for Specialized Mechanics at FMTC. “Technicians in our area of the state are in greater demand than ever before as we have one of the highest rates of boats per capita in the country. Dealers here know technicians who complete Yamaha certification courses through our school are well versed in product knowledge and ready for real-world scenarios. We greatly appreciate the support from the MIA of SWFL&TB and Yamaha as we work to build a strong marine technician workforce.”

Yamaha Marine makes a wide variety of sponsored curricula available to technical school partners for use in the classroom. The first curriculum, titled “Introduction to Outboard Systems,” (ITOS) includes textbook materials and hands-on learning experiences for students who wish to start a career as a marine industry technician. Students who successfully complete the course receive Yamaha Marine’s Introduction to Outboard Systems Certification. ITOS is a pre-requisite for Yamaha’s new Maintenance Certification Program (MCP), which is based on the 20, 100, 300, 500 and 1,000-hour maintenance procedures for Yamaha Outboards. MCP students will leave the Yamaha Technical School Partner with certified maintenance competencies that prepare them to be immediately profitable in Yamaha dealership service departments. Yamaha dealerships can take them on as apprentices or full-time technicians to help them continue to develop their skills.

“Yamaha has a great, dependable, high-quality product. For technicians in this area of the state, in-depth knowledge of Yamaha outboards is a must,” continued Esterline. “The fact that these new technicians can get this kind of certification locally through our school is a huge benefit for dealers in the area. We’re even planning a co-op program with several local dealers to allow their technicians to participate in Yamaha’s MCP program at night next year. The effort Yamaha and the MIA of SWFL&TB board put toward technician development in this industry is more than commendable.”

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