NMTA supports marine trade school

Published On: April 4, 2024Categories: Industry News, News

In a recent Soundings Trade Only article, George Harris, president/CEO of the Northwest Marine Trades Association (NMTA) in Seattle, Wash., discussed his efforts since 2011 to address the workforce issues now facing the recreational boating industry. Harris said that a decade ago, a Wash.-based organization called the Manufacturing Industry Council (MIC) was contacted by Boeing to develop an aviation-based skilled trades curriculum for local high schools.

A year later, the MIC contacted Harris about developing a similar curriculum for the marine industry. A company called Core Plus Maritime was established to develop the curriculum, and the NMTA decided to support the program, which offers high school students a chance to learn about careers in the industry.

In 2023, there were 1,500 students in the Core Plus Maritime program at 26 schools in Washington. For 2024, the NMTA has a goal of placing 25 Core Plus students in full-time or seasonal jobs or internships with NMTA members by June 30.

Core Plus is holding a career showcase April 25 in south King County that is expected to draw more than 1,000 students and more than 100 employers.

Other opportunities for training in the recreational boating industry in Washington include the Northwest Maritime Center in Port Townsend, the Skagit Valley Marine Technical Center for Marine Manufacturing and Technology in Anacortes and the Northwest School for Wooden Boatbuilding in Port Hadlock. The latter is a certified training facility for Suzuki outboards where dealers in the Pacific Northwest send their technicians to stay current.

Harris said that NMTA relies on its members to go to events like job fairs to talk to students about opportunities in the recreational boating industry. “We’re asking our members to go to these events and plant some seeds with these kids.”