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Shortage of workers in local marine and boating industry

Posted: 7:59 PM, Jul 31, 2019
Updated: 2019-07-31 19:59:16-04

For Michael Macklin the water is like a second home.

“It’s been over 40 years I’ve been doing marine electronics for somebody or another,” he said.

He’s the owner of Macklin Marine Electronics. A job that requires a good amount of manual labor, but keeps him financially afloat.

“Well it’s always been hard to get people in this industry because it’s not as easy at it sounds,” Macklin said.

That’s why Macklin says he’s mostly a one man show. Now marine and boating industry leaders are looking to inspire a new generation.

“What we used to call the baby boomers they’re already starting to retire so that’s why all these people are looking more and more for more technicians in this area,” Eligio Marquez, Palm Beach State College said.

Marquez says there are more than 2,000 available jobs in the marine and boating industry. That’s just in Palm Beach County.

It mirrors the trouble other trades have with a shortage of young workers. So, for the first time Palm Beach State College is offering a Marine Service Technology program. He says jobs in this industry can pay between $20 and up $40 an hour.

“The program will cover everything in the boat from outside, to inside the trailer,” Marquez said.

He says the classes are about halfway full and the program starts August 22nd.

Macklin hopes this effort will lead to help.

“Hopefully I can find somebody that will help me out and learn how to do this and maybe take over my customers. They could sure use a good technician to take care of them,” he said.