FOND DU LAC, Wis. — Mercury Marine, a division of Brunswick Corporation (NYSE: BC), has provided its Mercury University curriculum along with 90hp FourStroke outboard engines and tools to high schools in Florida, New York and Virginia to help prepare the next generation of marine service technicians and address the industry’s workforce shortage.
In a survey conducted by the Marine Retailers Association of the Americas prior to the pandemic, more than 85% of boat dealers suggested they had multiple positions in their businesses that were unfilled, and in total, marine dealerships across the United States had more than 31,000 unfilled positions due to workforce shortages. The pandemic has only exacerbated these shortages.
“Mercury Marine is proud to partner with these high schools to train students for careers in the marine industry,” said Jeff deDoming, Mercury Marine dealer workforce recruiting and development manager. “We want to introduce students of all backgrounds to the limitless possibilities in the industry and help meet the continued demand for service technicians.”
As part of Mercury’s Marine Systems Technician curriculum, students learn to diagnose malfunctions, prepare repair estimates and work orders, and repair or replace parts as specified by manufacturers. Each school also received a $50,000 engine and tool package containing the latest Mercury SmartCraft® technology along with the diagnostic tools needed to teach proper diagnostics and repair procedures.
The partnership includes the following schools:
- Pasco County Schools/Fred K. Marchman Technical College in New Port Richey, Fla.
- Richard O. Jacobson Technical High School in Seminole, Fla.
- Boards of Cooperative Educational Services of New York State
- Northern Neck Technical Center in Warsaw, Virginia
Mercury will also offer a scholarship for high school students wishing to continue their education in marine technology at post-secondary education schools.
“We are extremely grateful for our partnership with Mercury Marine and the support they have shown our students and our school,” said Josh Wolfenden, principal of Richard O. Jacobson Technical High School. “Mercury has provided tools, equipment and materials that have truly made a difference in the educational experience of our students. They are much better prepared to earn their industry certifications and take on upcoming career opportunities thanks to the support that Mercury has provided.”