MarineMax recently announced a partnership with Junior Achievement (JA) of South Florida, a non-profit organization focused on youth workforce readiness and entrepreneurship. Two projects are currently in the works, both aimed at educating younger generations about the marine industry.
The first program was founded and created in 2018 by Christine Battles with Advanced Mechanical Enterprises. JA of South Florida’s “Sea the World” program began with the construction of an educational space called a “storefront.” The organization recently revamped the site promoting a plethora of career opportunities in the marine industry – from sales and marketing to forklift operator and technician, and even expanding into the superyacht crew and port operator opportunities. MarineMax along with other marine industry companies joined forces as proud supporters.
The second program forges a pathway to obtaining a Master Technician’s certification. The pre-apprenticeship journeyman program addresses the shortage of certified technicians needed to service the massive increase in boat owners in South Florida and nationwide. The solution to this workforce shortage is to eliminate the barriers of entry for minorities and those with financial limitations and create opportunities that will lead to well-paying careers in the marine industry.
Upon completion of the pre-apprenticeship program, students will have the opportunity to advance to marine technician apprenticeships led by dealerships including FB Marine Group and MarineMax, leading them to a Mercury Marine Master Technician Certification. The first class of 20-25 students recently graduated. Chris Butts, MarineMax University Instructor, donated his time to instruct the inaugural class and gave a testimonial on the Junior Achievement LinkedIn page.
But MarineMax is no stranger to education. They’ve been training up-and-coming technicians for the last eight years through their in-house Student Technician Program. Chris Butts heads up the program and has graduated almost 60 students, with direct placement in a permanent job in one of the 78 MarineMax stores nationwide.
Chris was recently a guest on MarineMax’s From the Helm Boating Broadcast podcast and goes into detail about the revolutionary program. Some perks include being paid while learning, hands-on training at an actual marina, and six months working side by side with seasoned technicians to learn the trade.
Joining the marine industry can open so many doors and provide a lucrative career for students. MarineMax is proud to partner with Junior Achievement on these projects and to continue recruiting for their in-house Student Technician Program. Educating the next generation is extremely important no matter the industry.