Marine trade group helps create Florida’s first yacht apprenticeship program

May 28, 2019 by Lucy Chabot Reed

The Fort Lauderdale-based Marine Industries Association of South Florida (MIASF) is working with the Florida Department of Education and Atlantic Technical College to establish the state’s first registered Yacht Service Technician Apprenticeship.

The two-year program will give apprentices a basic set of shipyard skills to jump start a career in the marine industry. So far, four South Florida shipyards have committed to enrolling employees: Derecktor Shipyard, Roscioli Yachting Center and MarineMax, all near Fort Lauderdale, and
RMK Merrill-Stevens in Miami.

The program is ready to begin but lacks a full-time instructor. Applications are currently being accepted. The successful candidate will have six years experience as a shipyard/megayacht technician in the areas of rigging, forklift and crane operations, pipefitting/plumbing, welding/fabricating, carpentry, and painting. For more information or to apply, contact Karen Blakley at or call +1 754-321-5118.

“A skilled workforce is critical to the growth of the marine industry here in South Florida, and with many long-term marine industry employees retiring soon, this program allows us to begin training the next generation of skilled trade workers that we need,” said James Brewer, head of business development at Derecktor Shipyard and a member of the MIASF Workforce Committee that spearheaded this program.

Bob Crawford, ATC Director, said, “ATC is proud to offer another high-wage, high-skill, and high-demand career path that fills a specific need, in this case for the marine industry. Working closely with MIASF and local employers, we have developed a robust curriculum that will help build the necessary marine-related workforce for the future.”

MIASF’s Workforce Committee also has been working with middle and high schools in the Fort Lauderdale area to create a dual-enrollment program so that high school seniors will graduate with 36 college credits. That program is expected to begin when school resumes this fall.

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About Lucy Chabot Reed

Lucy Chabot Reed is publisher and founding editor of The Triton.

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