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Seven earn marine tech certifications through Yamaha, GLCAP

Seven Cleveland-area students recently completed Yamaha Marine University’s Intro to Outboard Systems course on April 14, earning an industry-recognized credential from Yamaha that allows graduates to pursue work in the growing marine-trades industry.

The course was offered through Great Lakes Community Action Partnership’s (GLCAP) Marine Technician Apprenticeship Course in conjunction with Yamaha Motorsports and the Davis Aerospace and Maritime High School, a Cleveland-based high school focused on math and science education with a maritime and aerospace theme. The Davis Aerospace and Maritime High School was co-founded by the Cleveland Metropolitan School District and the non-profit organization PHASTAR in 2017 to address student interest in these fields. The school is set to graduate its first class of students this year.

“When PHASTAR began, there was a lack of opportunities to connect kids to these really exciting industries—marine and aerospace,” PHASTAR President D. Andrew Ferguson said. “Kids naturally migrate to what interests them, and we give them the tools to do that.”

PHASTAR also partners with other government entities, higher education institutions, and businesses to develop youth and adult job skills to address employment needs in local marine and aerospace industries. The Intro to Outboard Systems course was just one of many offerings that fits with the organization’s mission. Students who pursue marine trades and aerospace training will have access to plenty of career choices, Ferguson said.

“Both aerospace and the marine trades are experiencing a ‘silver tsunami.’ Many people are retiring or near retirement age,” Ferguson said. “Interest in recreational boating is high, but there’s a shortage of boat mechanics and repair shops, so I think there is plenty of opportunity.”

Although the recent Intro to Outboards course took place via online instruction due to pandemic-related restrictions, students were still able to watch live demonstrations of real-world experiences that they would encounter while working.

“Instead of reading paragraphs in books and watching PowerPoint presentations, students benefited more from seeing outboards used in the field and watching different functions live,” instructor Robert Streiffert said.

Streiffert is co-owner of Locust Point Marina and owner-operator of DZ Motor Sports, both in Oak Harbor. He added that the course provided a good introduction to the trade and is a great starting point for anyone who wants to pursue a career in the marine industry.

“I believe this partnership with Yamaha and GLCAP will inspire many young minds to explore the many benefits of a career in the marine industry,” Streiffert said. “As further classes develop along the way more interest will follow, and this program will be a major success."

The students who completed the course received an Industry Recognized Credential from Yamaha.

GLCAP’s Marine Services Technician Apprenticeship Program offers more extensive training in the marine trades that includes marine electricity and electronics, welding, HVAC troubleshooting, and other skills needed to enter the marine trades. The course is offered in partnership with Yamaha with career training provided through Terra State Community College and Vanguard-Sentinel Career & Technology Centers in Fremont. The course also offers career coaching support and job placement services through GLCAP.

Details are available by contacting Bonnie Nusser at or 1-800-775-9767.

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Great Lakes Community Action Partnership

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