Southern Maine Community College is launching a Yamaha Outboard Motor Repair Training course, providing boatyards and other Yamaha service centers the skilled workers they need while improving career opportunities for Maine residents.
The 150-hour course begins April 2 and includes classroom learning and hands-on training on multiple Yamaha outboard motors.
The class is the latest training program developed by SMCC in collaboration with business and industry to address the changing needs of students, businesses and organizations. A signing ceremony was held at SMCC’s South Portland Campus on Thursday to formalize the program.
“SMCC is committed to workforce training that meets the needs of businesses and students, while contributing to Maine’s statewide economic development,” said SMCC President Joe Cassidy. “Maine’s workforce needs are pressing, and we are answering the call.”
Steve Arnold, owner of Yarmouth Boat Yard, Moose Landing Marina and Freedom Boat Club of Maine, said the availability of qualified marine mechanics has been an issue for years. So he reached out to his business contacts at Yamaha and his colleagues at Maine Marine Trades Association, where he is a board member, to address the need for a program to train certified marine technicians.
“That’s when we reached out to Southern Maine Community College to bring it all together,” Arnold said. “We’re very proud of how this hands-on training has evolved and thrilled to lend a hand in giving back to the marine industry.”
The marine service industry is in need of many different positions, but qualified and quality technicians are in the highest demand, said Joe Maniscalco, Yamaha Marine Service Division Manager.
“Yamaha Marine is committed to recruiting and developing this workforce to support our customers,” Maniscalco said. “We are honored to enter into this partnership that will focus on servicing our dealer partners in Maine. “
SMCC’s Workforce Development Department has developed and offered numerous training programs in fields ranging from welding, information technology and culinary to construction and hospitality.
The Yamaha Outboard Motor Repair Training course is offered at no cost to qualified applicants and was developed in partnership with Yamaha, the Maine Marine Trades Association, boatyard owners and industry representatives. Those interested in the program can find more information at www.smccME.edu/yamahatraining.
Funding for the program is provided through the Maine Quality Centers, which is part of the Maine Community College System and provides customized workforce training grants to Maine employers with training delivered through SMCC and Maine’s other community colleges.
Photo: Front row (from left) are Dan Belyea, Maine Community College System Executive Director of Workforce Training; Steve Arnold, owner of Yarmouth Boat Yard and Moose Landing Marina; SMCC President Joe Cassidy; and Jared Lord of Yamaha Marine Service. Back row (from left) are Jim Whitten, SMCC Dean of Workforce Development; Tracy Coughlin of Yarmouth Boat Yard and Moose Landing Marina; and Evan Arnold of Yarmouth Boat Yard.