A group of marine industry organizations created a career center to reduce the labor shortage by connecting hiring dealers and job seekers.
To help relieve the skilled labor shortage in the industry, marine groups recently launched the Marine Industry Career Network, an online career center that aggregates job postings from its multiple partners.
The Marine Retailers Association of the Americas (MRAA), the National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA), the National Marine Distributors Association (NMDA), the American Boat and Yacht Council (ABYC), and Boating Industry magazine contribute job posts to the network. Dealers can then more easily find technicians, sales associates, and other professionals to fill openings.
“Helping our members fill open positions and strengthen their workforce has become the number 1 priority of our efforts for the foreseeable future,” MRAA President Matt Gruhn said in a statement. “This career center, along with the approach of collaborating with other leading associations, is already proving to be an incredibly effective method for addressing the growing workforce crisis in the marine industry.”
A workforce assessment completed this year by MRAA and ABYC found that 22 percent of positions budgeted for 2016 were still unfilled, and that dealers will still need to add six positions each over the next three years to keep up with demand.
The two groups initially planned to build the career network in 2014 to address this need when MRAA member dealers requested help filling open positions. Through the service, ABYC could then provide students and workers to fill those openings.
“ABYC’s members consist of marine technicians, boat builders, and manufacturers who have gone above and beyond to build their skill set,” ABYC Membership Director Kevin Scullen said in a Boating Industry article. “The Marine Industry Career Network will help match up those looking for jobs with those who are hiring and have the same goal of maximizing customer satisfaction through safety standards for products, service, and repair.”
Following the workforce assessment, MRAA and ABYC determined they couldn’t solve the problem alone, so they sought participation from the other industry groups to reach and connect a greater number of professionals.
“It’s really going to benefit our industry to have all of us working together to help [dealers] fill their dealerships so that the industry can continue to thrive,” MRAA Education Marketing Specialist Mary Gillen told Associations Now.
In addition, MRAA also plans to add more organizations to the partnership, such as regional or state marine industry associations, to further broaden the reach, Gillen said.
Industry professionals can access the center through any of the partner organizations’ websites. For a fee, employers can post job openings, search for potential candidates, and collect job activity statistics, though members get a discount through their association. Access is free for students and job seekers, who can apply to positions and post their resume.
“We are excited to launch the NMMA Career Center and to be an active participant in the Marine Industry Career Network (MICN) alongside several industry partners,” NMMA Vice President of Engineering Standards, Membership, and Association Marketing Robert Newsome said in a release. “Attracting skilled employees is a priority for marine manufacturers to ensure continued industry growth, and the MICN will help connect employers to a larger pool of candidates.”
NMDA Executive Director Nancy Cueroni said in a statement: “We’re very excited about MRAA Rewards Career Center, because we know how critical it is for employers in the marine industry to attract first-rate talent with a minimum expenditure of time and resources. And it’s important for us help enable smooth career transitions for those seeking industry jobs.”