Marine Industry High School Pilot Project – Part 2

Students Touring Boat

May 18, 2023

Brett Ramsey at North Grenville High School showing students a boat that they brought in for an interactive presentation

Earlier this spring, Wendy and Brett Ramsey kicked off a pilot project in Eastern Ontario high schools. The whole idea of this project is to address the issue that the marine industry is facing a shortage of younger people coming into professional roles. You can read more about the first part of this initiative HERE.

On May 9th, Wendy and Brett had the opportunity to visit North Grenville High School in Kemptville. They started off by speaking with grade 11 and 12 students for two hours. For this high school visit, the Ramsey’s brought in a boat that the students were able to look at and climb aboard. Many students had never been on a boat before, so it was a great experience for the entire class.

They also brought in some damaged parts such as a broken prop, gearcase and powerhead from Yamaha. The students were able to touch, feel, look, ask questions and guess what was wrong with each item. The class loved the entire hands-on experience.

The Ramsey’s commented, “We had students in that class that are already set on becoming Hydro One technicians, welders and heavy equipment technicians. There are approximately six kids in that class that are already out doing co-op at different locations, whether that be heavy mechanic or automotive. These kids are very eager to be part of the trades once they are done high school.”

Brett and StudentsBrett interacting with students and showing them damaged marine parts

After speaking with the older kids, they then had the opportunity to speak with grade 10 students for about an hour. Interestingly, they discovered that these students don’t know exactly where or what they want to do within the next couple of years. They didn’t have as many questions but were excited to see the damaged parts and tour the boat in the parking lot.

Once again from both classes, there was a consensus that they never knew there were opportunities in the marine industry for them. Nobody had ever talked to them about it before. The Ramsey’s motivated them to become a part of the marine industry by letting them know the diverse opportunities available whether that be in marketing, accounting or the trades.

“I would love to encourage anybody in the marine industry, to get into their local high schools to get the conversation started,” said Wendy Ramsey. “The other aspect we all need to think about is simplicity of getting the kids a pathway to enter into the marine industry.”

The Ramsey’s have a plan that by September, the start of the new school year, they will have an e-brochure created that outlines the exact steps to help introduce individuals into the marine industry. This can be used at the high school level or to introduce any young adults that want to switch into the career.

There are many different ways to get students started in the marine industry. They can take the approach of the apprenticeship program, or they can connect with a local dealer to get started with the manufacturers that they work with to get their tech numbers.

Brett and Wendy RamseyBrett and Wendy Ramsey with North Grenville High School swag!

“We would like to thank North Grenville for their hospitality and the swag!,” said the Ramsey’s.

You can read more about Wendy’s career path HERE and Brett’s career path HERE.












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The provincial marine associations from across the country, collectively representing over 80,000 jobs and $9.2B in national annual economic impact, announced the formation of a new national association whose mandate will be to represent the interests of recreational boating including recreational boat retailing and brokering, boat and engine & trailer sales, accessories, slip rentals, service, storage, fuel sales and more. Headquartered in Penetanguishene, Ontario, the newly formed Canadian Marine Retailers Association (CMRA) will focus on national issues facing the sector.

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