FUTURETECH SUCCESS® CAMPAIGN WELCOMES FIRST MARINE SECTOR PARTNER
Read Marine Retailers Association of the Americas (MRAA) Vice President Liz Walz’s
Letter of support for TechForce Foundation®‘s FutureTech Success campaign below:
March 21, 2019
It’s no secret that the marine industry is faced with a severe shortage of qualified workers. In fact, the 517 marine industry businesses, representing more than 1,300 retail locations across North America, that participated in MRAA’s 2016 Workforce Assessment Survey ranked “shortage of skilled labor” the second-highest among issues that negatively impact their business.
More than 20 percent of the positions that marine dealers budgeted to have on their payrolls in 2016 were unfilled, according to the survey results. Looking ahead, 74.8 percent of respondents also suggested they would need to add more staff over the next three years, and on average, these respondents estimated they would need to hire six more positions — 3.5 full-time and 2.6 part-time positions — by 2019.
If you project that out over the 3,100 dealerships across North America, the marine industry could be looking at a shortage today of more than 30,000 employees. And that’s just in the retail sector.
As the North American trade association for marine retailers, MRAA has been hard at work creating workforce solutions to help marine dealers find success, including the launch of a career center, job descriptions, training guides and workforce-related educational resources. In addition, its sibling organization, the MRAA Educational Foundation, offers a number of scholarships to encourage people to pursue careers in marine retailing and once they’ve entered the industry, to successfully develop in their careers.
Where we see an unfilled need, however, is in outreach to, communication with and education of prospective students, their parents and the secondary schools who nurture their development regarding careers in marine retailing.
That’s why we are pleased to share with you our enthusiasm for the TechForce Foundation’s new national initiative, FutureTech Success™, an effort aimed at fueling the pipeline of tomorrow’s workforce of technicians. This is a comprehensive and multi-faceted initiative, but some of the key components include:
• Turning parents and influencers of 13-18 year old’s from naysayers to champions by delivering the message that being a technician is a successful, in-demand and valued career path;
• Making tactile challenges available for young men and women to experience the rewards of working and creating with their hands;
• And working together as an industry to deliver a unified public message around tech career opportunities, and to recognize and share best practices.
MRAA has had numerous communications (i.e. phone calls, e-mails, and face-to-face meetings) with the TechForce Foundation staff, and we see great opportunity to collaborate to develop a strong pipeline of future marine technicians.
As a result, MRAA is supporting the TechForce Foundation through the following:
• Educating our membership on the initiative and its mission;
• Distributing the initiative’s marketing campaign content so that the positive messages can make their way to parents and influencers of our FutureTechs;
• Helping to identify resources to assist in the creation of tactile challenges;
• And working together with FutureTech Success™ supporters to identify and communicate industry best practices.
Please join us in learning more about this new national initiative, and in pledging your marketing muscle as well as any other support you can offer. To learn more, visit futuretechsuccess.org.
Marine Retailers Association of the Americas