Austin Angermeir is a young man with a bright future. At 18 years of age Austin is employed full-time doing what he loves: working on boat engines as a marine engine service provider.

Austin Angermeir has a fulltime job after participating in MTAM's workforce development program. Photo courtesy of MTAM

Angermeir landed the job after participating in a workforce development program administered by the Marine Trade Association of Maryland (MTAM). During the summer before his senior year of high school, at the suggestion of his teacher, Angermeir attended a weekend MTAM “boot camp.” After doing well there and expressing a strong desire to work on engines, he was placed with Bay Shore Marine in Annapolis for six weeks of on-the-job training. The training worked out so well for both employer and employee that Angermeir continued working part time while completing his last year of high school. After graduation he came onboard full-time as a regular employee with Bay Shore.

“MTAM’s workforce development program worked out very well for me and got me into a job doing what I like best—working on boat engines,” says Angermeir, a 2017 graduate of Anne Arundel County Public Schools’ Center for Applied Technology-South (CAT-South). Servicing boat engines means Angermeir works at a variety of locations and has had the opportunity to help work on some large yachts.

“Sometimes I work at the shop, and other times I go to marinas or wherever the customer’s boat is located,” says Angermeir. “The work requires attention to detail, and occasionally I have to fit in tight spots. It can be physically and mentally demanding at times. But it pays pretty well, and best of all, I get to do what I really enjoy.” Angermeir’s supervisor at Bay Shore, Chris Starr, says, “We have been extremely pleased with Austin, and he has progressed even faster than we expected. Recently we invested in his training by sending him to an American Boat and Yacht Council (ABYC) diesel mechanics course. We have increasingly given Austin more responsibility, which is a testament to his reliability and independence.”

“Earn while you learn” is the tagline for MTAM’s workforce development program. Applications are accepted year-round for on-the-job training opportunities with service providers in the recreational boating industry. Most candidates for the program are individuals between the ages of 18 and 24, who like to work around the water and with boats. No prior experience is needed, and the paid training positions, which last six weeks, provide exposure to an industry that offers excellent job prospects for young people as well as flexibility for skilled employees.

“I grew up boating and fishing with my family, and my CAT-South classes had given me instruction working on boats,” says Angermeir. “So I had a good idea of the kind of work I wanted to do before I even took the weekend course. But for many people in the class it was their first exposure to marine electrical systems, navigation systems, knots, and engines. I could tell some of them became really interested in it.”

MTAM executive director Susan Zellers says, “Our workforce development program is an excellent opportunity for individuals to be paid while learning skills that will prepare them for employment in the recreational boating industry. We are connected with employers that need to fill positions, and in addition to our workforce development training placements, experienced marine trades workers can find job postings on our website,” For more information on MTAM’s workforce development program, contact Lia Jaros at [email protected] or (410) 490-1117.