After two years of research, consultation, and fine-tuning, the ABYC Foundation launched the first official Marine Trades Accreditation Program (MTAP) for schools teaching marine service. MTAP is designed to ensure quality training that is aligned with industry needs, at both high school and post-secondary schools, ultimately creating a bigger and stronger pipeline for much needed entry-level workers.
“Having an employee that comes to us from an accredited program allows us to cut down on a lot of time and expense in training,” says Leon MacCorkle, owner of Padebco Yachts in Round Pond, Maine. “I know they will have certain skills, and if they don’t have them memorized, they know what information is available through ABYC. That makes them a much more valuable employee.”
The road to accreditation starts with becoming an “ABYC Foundation Affiliated School,” a designation open to all schools that wish to take advantage of the benefits available, including ABYC membership with deep discounts on instructor and student training, access to ABYC standards, and industry outreach.
Schools that wish to continue on to accreditation must complete a substantial application process, pass board review and an on-site visit, and the school must maintain professional development and academic training for instructors.
“Over the years, ABYC has developed a lot of resources for schools including a textbook, workbook, and the Marine Service Technology curriculum,” said Margaret Podlich, ABYC Foundation executive director. “The Foundation publishes a biweekly newsletter, hosts the Educator Training Conference, and Educator of the Year Award, all pointed at the marine service instructor. MTAP is a natural next step to providing the gold seal of approval recognizing top-level programs.
The ABYC Foundation requests industry support to share news of this program with local schools. A free informational webinar will take place Feb. 24 at 3pm EST to review the MTAP program and address questions.
For more information about MTAP and ABYC Foundation Affiliated schools, please visit www.teachboats.org.