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Marine Industry Anchors Together to Address Workforce Challenges

More industries need skilled labor than ever before

The Marine Retailers Association of the Americas (MRAA), the National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA), and the Rhode Island Marine Trades Association unveiled their business plan—10+1 Strategy: A Marine Industry Guide to Growing the Workforce—at The American Boating Congress, which was held last week in Washington, D.C. The plan, which provides specific strategies to strengthen the boating workforce, is the result of a yearlong collaboration among the organizations.

“Coming out of the recession, we started having a lot more of our members coming to us and telling us that they needed help—they needed more people, they needed skilled labor, they needed people with technical skills that they just couldn’t find,” said MRAA President Matt Gruhn.

After conducting a study about the industry’s workforce challenges, MRAA found that boat retailers couldn’t fill about 22 percent of open positions. Soon after, NMMA found that the manufacturing side was experiencing similar difficulties, so the two organizations decided to team up and develop solutions. They enlisted RIMTA as well, since the group already had some expertise in facing workforce challenges.

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