Steven Layzell

Sept 29, 2020

Do you know a young person who is having trouble getting traction as they start out in life? It has probably never been easy, but this year with COVID-19, people are re-evaluating their life goals. My own two sons who are in their early 20s both had always wanted to move downtown, but now they’re not so comfortable with that idea.

Very few young people are comfortable with the downtown housing costs, or the incredibly tight market for rental apartments. Perhaps this year more young people will see that life outside of the city can be very positive and may offer a better economic outcome too. Things get better still if they and their partner enjoy the outdoor life.

Last week, we had the opportunity to interview a young man who is off to a great start in the marine industry after graduating from the Georgian College Marine program.

His name is Steven Layzell. You might think it’s not surprising to find Steven in the marine industry given that his father is Rick Layzell, CEO of the Boating Ontario association. But, many young people want to forge their own path in life. Just because ‘dad’ is in the marine industry doesn’t mean the sons or daughters are interested.

We interviewed Steven at his job at Central Marine in Midland, Ontario where he was preparing and driving two of the new boats that we were writing performance reviews about. When our day was over, we sat down with Steven and asked him to tell us about his experience of getting into the marine industry.

It wasn’t a natural first choice. Family connections had provided summer employment for Steven working as a gas boy at his uncle’s marina and later at Gordon Bay Marine in Muskoka. Later, he tried his hand at plumbing and then at cabinetmaking, but just didn’t feel a connection with those jobs.

He decided to look more seriously at the Georgian Marine Tech program, especially when he learned how much Georgian grads were in demand. Steven investigated the Georgian Pre-Apprentice Program, wound up meeting Rob Davidson who walked him through the process and Steven signed up for the 8-month course.

He met a number of good guys who were also at about the same point in life so he has new friends and professional associates and they were all courted by the 300 potential employers who were hoping to hire one of the 22 Georgian grads. It’s great to have options in life!

Last year at Central Marine, Steven worked three days a week but this year he will be full time, year ‘round and still he has options. This winter he will be doing a lot of rigging and parts and service work. He likes the tech side but he is also attracted to sales and again, Steven has opportunities there.

Best of all, he loves the lake, the water, skiing, tubing and the whole lifestyle. His closing comments to share with other young people was, “Go for it. Step out of your comfort zone. You might fall in love!”

We hope you will share this with any young people you know. There are a lot of great opportunities in the boat busines right now!

Andy Adams – Editor

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