Industry Joins to Support Grant Application for Marine Job Apprenticeships

The Marine Retailers Association of the Americas rallied leadership from throughout the marine industry in its application for submission to the US Department of Labor’s “Apprenticeship Building America” Grant Program. Labeled “Building Out Apprenticed Trades (BOAT) Jobs,” MRAA’s application received written letters of support and recommendation from 26 marine industry organizations, including all of the leading engine manufacturers and the world’s three largest marine dealership operations. Combined, the reach of these organizations offers this apprenticeship program the potential of extending to every dealership location in the United States.

While MRAA is the lead organization on this endeavor, the strength of the proposal lies with the collaboration between employers, MRAA, the state marine trades associations, and other national organizations.

As submitted, the grant application outlines that MRAA would create multiple Registered Apprenticeship Programs, in coordination with industry partners, along with several Regional Registered Apprenticeship Hubs. Those Hubs would allow MRAA to deliver the necessary resources and programming for meeting the program’s goals through regional partners. The grant proceeds, which could provide MRAA with as much as $8 million over four years, would fund the creation of technician and other service department apprenticeship and education programs, in addition to providing seed money for industry businesses to subsidize the costs of hiring apprentices. Grant funding will also support the development of a national career awareness and recruitment campaign and build out capacity in the regional Registered Apprenticeship Hubs with technical assistance and funding to hire a dedicated workforce person in each hub.

MRAA received letters of support from the National Marine Manufacturers Association, Association of Marina Industries, American Boat Builders & Repairers Association, National Marine Electronics Association and the Outdoor Recreation Roundtable, as well as nine state-based associations and workforce development organizations. Those state-based organizations — Boating Industry Association of Central New York, Marine Industries Association of Palm Beach County, Maryland Marine Trades Association, Marine Trades Association of New Jersey, Massachusetts Marine Trades Association, Michigan Boating Industry Association, RealTime Talent Minnesota, Rhode Island Marine Trades Association, and Northwest Marine Trades Association with the Northwest Center of Excellence for Marine Manufacturing and Technology at Skagit Valley College (Washington) — would serve as the appointed Hubs.

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