Largest donation of its kind to date will support students in schools across Canada and the US

Sturtevant, Wisconsin-based Evinrude Outboards, the National Marine Distributors Association (NMDA) and the American Boat and Yacht Council (ABYC) jointly announced today that the engine builder will donate US$2m worth of Evinrude G2 3.4L V6 outboards to the ABYC Foundation in support of its marine technician training program.

The unprecedented donation of 100 G2 outboards is intended to support marine technician training initiatives across the US and Canada in the face of a growing labour shortage as retirements outpace recruitment. The donations will be made available to a total of 30 schools over the next 12 months according to Evinrude, with more engines and schools to follow over the next 36 months.

“Recreational boats are becoming increasingly more integrated which requires technicians to be well-versed in a multitude of advanced systems,” said Tracy Crocker, Evinrude senior vice president and general manager. “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 company’s training curriculum, including fundamentals and professional-level online courses. Students will also have an option to transition to the certification-level course at Evinrude technical training centers. Discounts on outboard engine test tanks and Evinrude outboard educational service tool packages are also available to schools.

“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 is supporting the initiative by providing matching funds to assist schools as needed with costs associated with purchasing test tanks, tools and with shipping the outboards. “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 executive director, Nancy Cueroni. “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 has developed the Marine League of Schools and assisted in the development of a standards-based curriculum and instructor training/certification. “ABYC is focused on addressing the shortage of qualified marine technicians by developing and marketing an accredited technical education program,” said ABYC president, John Adey. “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.”

Interested accredited schools can apply online by visiting the ABYC Foundation website at www.abycfoundation.org or contact ABYC for further information.