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Evinrude donates $2m in engines to ABYC Foundation to combat industry-wide technician shortage

by Rus Graham 15 Feb 07:29 PST
Evinrude's engine line up © Rus Graham

Evinrude, the American Boat and Yacht Council (ABYC) and the National Marine Distributors Association (NMDA) announced today that Evinrude will donate two million dollars' worth of Evinrude ETEC G2 3.4L V6 outboard engines to the ABYC Foundation supporting next generation marine technician training. The donation, which is the largest of its kind in history, will support students in high schools and colleges across the U.S. and Canada. NMDA will be providing matching funds to assist schools, as needed, with costs associated with purchasing test tanks, tools and with shipping outboards.

"Recreational boats are becoming increasingly more integrated which requires technicians to be well versed in a multitude of advanced systems," said Tracy Crocker, senior vice president and general manager, Evinrude. "By donating Evinrude engines and our training curriculum, we are providing the tools necessary to increase the number of certified professionals trained to service modern, technologically-advanced direct fuel-injection engines. Furthermore, we are maintaining Evinrude's long-standing commitment to the marine industry, while meeting dealer demands for additionally trained and talented employees."

Evinrude's donation includes access to the entire Evinrude training curriculum, including fundamentals and professional level online courses. Upon successful completion of this curriculum and associated tests, students will have the option to transition to the certification-level course at Evinrude's technical training centers. In addition to the Evinrude training curriculum, highly discounted Evinrude outboard engine test tanks and Evinrude outboard educational service tool packages are available to schools.

ABYC is the premier non-profit member organization that develops global safety standards for the design, construction, maintenance, and repair of recreational boats. With the recent publication of Fundamentals of Marine Service Technology, a comprehensive training program geared toward secondary and post-secondary education, ABYC has demonstrated its commitment to the growth of the marine industry and is a natural partner for the donation. ABYC will offer this accredited curriculum, which includes textbooks and training materials, together with the Evinrude outboards and training curriculum to schools. This program gives schools the tools needed to implement a standards-based curriculum including instructor guides, presentations, and sample tests.

"ABYC is focused on addressing the shortage of qualified marine technicians by developing and marketing an accredited technical education program," said John Adey, president, ABYC. "Evinrude's donation will provide these students hands-on experience servicing marine engines based on ABYC's current curriculum and is a key step in ABYC's efforts to address the shortage of qualified marine technicians. While ABYC's curriculum is general in nature, the addition of manufacturer-specific training enhances the value of the student to potential employers."

"Technical education and hands-on training need our full support so that students can develop their technical abilities and creativity," said Jeff Wasil, engineering manager, Emissions and Regulatory Development, Evinrude. "The donation package and partnership put together by Evinrude, ABYC, and NMDA provides a comprehensive marine technical training program, supporting schools and students with the tools they need to be successful in this industry."

"NMDA's mission is to advance industry growth by strengthening the supply chain, providing training and education, promoting best practices, and fostering partnerships with industry stakeholders," said Nancy Cueroni, executive director, NMDA. "This donation from Evinrude is a historic step in support of marine education and we are thrilled to partner with Evinrude and ABYC to make this program possible."

To address the marine industry's need for post-secondary technical education, ABYC developed the Marine League of Schools. ABYC assists these schools in the areas of standards-based curriculum development and instructor training/certification to help ensure that the training provided is relevant and up-to-date. Member schools are nationwide and held to a high standard due to their affiliation with ABYC. Evinrude's outboard engine and curriculum donation is being made available to these schools.

"Our faculty is very excited about the opportunity to access Evinrude's innovative technology for our students," said Ann Avary, director, Skagit Valley College, Center of Excellence for Marine Manufacturing & Technology. "We hope this donation will inspire young people to pursue rewarding careers in the marine industry and open their eyes to the many opportunities available to them as marine technicians. We're especially grateful to ABYC for its leadership and work in support of the educational mission of the Marine League of Schools, making this donation and opportunity possible."

Interested accredited schools can apply online by visiting the ABYC Foundation website at www.abycfoundation.org or contact ABYC for further information. Evinrude and NMDA will also be reaching out to their dealerships and distributor networks to identify specific schools which would provide the most meaningful impacts to local communities.

Broward College in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, Fort Myers Technical College, Fort Myers, Florida, and Skagit Valley College in Mount Vernon, Washington, have already received engines. The remainder of the engines are scheduled to be placed within the next 12-36 months.

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