The Great Lakes Boat Building School (GLBBS) is being awarded $2.7 million by the Economic Development Administration (EDA).
The school will use the funds to build a 10,000-square-foot school expansion, build new boat-docking infrastructure and purchase additional marine training equipment.
The grant will be matched with $686,595 in funds raised, and is expected to more than double the school’s annual graduation students to 50 students.
According to (GLBBS), the economic impact will increase from $1 million to $2 million annually in Mackinac County based on additional students living in the Les Cheneaux Islands area for training.
The increase in students will be accompanied by growth in staff and in local purchases for supplies and equipment.
Officials say there will be an additional positive economic effect with the initiation of a $3.8 million construction project in the eastern Upper Peninsula.
“Michigan has a rich maritime history,” said Senator Debbie Stabenow. “This funding will boost economic development in the Upper Peninsula and allow the Great Lakes Boat Building School to continue their important work of preparing the next generation of marine industry professionals.”
“The Great Lakes Boat Building School continues to bolster Michigan’s maritime workforce by providing first-rate, on-the-job training to prepare students for careers as marine service technicians, carpenters, and craftsmen,” stated Senator Gary Peters. “I was pleased to have helped pass the CARES Act, which continues supporting Michigan’s economic recovery. This support will help expand on-site testing equipment and more than double the school’s training capacity, spurring further investment in the community and creating good-paying jobs for Michiganders.”
“We want to thank Senators Stabenow and Peters for their support and advocacy of our school and this expansion project,” said Nikki Storey, President of (GLBBS). “By expanding our instructional infrastructure and thereby more than doubling our annual graduation capacity, this is a significant step in addressing the distressing workforce shortage in the Great Lakes Marine Industry and beyond.”
“Come Aboard, Launch Careers”
(GLBBS) received a transformational gift of $75,000 from Tiara Yachts in support of incoming students and the “Come Aboard, Launch Careers” capital campaign that will increase the school’s capacity for educating future generations of marine professionals.
Skilled trades education making a comeback
Ask anyone in the recreational boating industry about some of the biggest issues facing the industry. And we have asked, through surveys, at our Boating Industry ELEVATE Summit industry panel discussion and during our Boating Industry Leadership Council meetings. Workforce development is always at the top of the list. It’s an industry-wide, nationwide problem. https://boatingindustry.com/features/2022/02/16/skilled-trades-education-may-be-making-a-comeback/