The following is text of a news release from Advanced Mechanical Enterprises and Junior Achievement of South Florida:
(FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla.) — The new Junior Achievement Finance Park Marine Industry Storefront, Sea the World, was unveiled May 1, ushering in a new era of marine industry education for Broward and south Palm Beach county students. Founding members and guests gathered to celebrate the culmination of 16 months of fundraising, volunteered time and creative talents to design the space which will be experienced by 20,000-plus students in grade eight annually.
The evening consisted of a ribbon-cutting ceremony, social networking and announcements made by president and CEO of JA South Florida, Laurie Sallarulo, and CAO of Advanced Mechanical Enterprises/AMEsolutions.com, Christine Battles, who spoke of the Junior Achievement Finance Park Storefront and future maritime industry workforce initiatives.
In an industry where the skilled trades and specialized career tracks are crucial to its vitality, the maritime community is facing a workforce that’s aging out with skilled labor being very hard to find. Understanding the need to keep the industry thriving with a new generation of workers, Advanced Mechanical Enterprises/AMEsolutions.com, and 23 maritime industry companies have joined forces with Junior Achievement of South Florida to create Sea the World. The marine industry storefront will inspire students to join the $12 billion a year economic engine that provides the tri-county with 142,000 careers/jobs.
“The Sea the World storefront is an innovative way to introduce South Florida’s young people to the wide array of opportunities available to them in the local marine industry,” said Jack Kosakowski, president and CEO of Junior Achievement USA. “During my recent visit to the storefront, I was impressed with how 24 marine industry companies came together to create a truly memorable work-readiness experience that will have life-changing implications for many of the thousands of young people who will get the chance to experience it.”
During the unveiling, attendees were given a walkthrough of the Marine Industry Storefront which is composed of nine walls representing engine room specialists, yachting professionals, shipyard trade workers and other areas like marina management, boat sales, boat building to name a few. Advanced Mechanical Enterprises/AMEsolutions.com, with the following 23 companies, raised over $130,000 for the build-out and curriculum development: Maritime Professional Training, Pier 66 Marina, The Triton (magazine), IGY Marinas, Marine Industries Association of South Florida, Palladium Technologies LLC, Aere Marine Group, FB Marine Group, Derecktor Shipyards, Global Marine Travel, Lauderdale Marine Center, Luxury Home Consultants, AdvantageServices.Net, MHG Insurance Brokers, Palmdale Oil Company, RPM Diesel Engines Co., Viking Crew, Ward’s Marine Electric, Water Taxi, Wright Maritime Group, Roscioli Yachting Center, Elite Marine AC and Universal Marine Center. The participating parties are now transitioning into phase two of the store build-out which will involve custom boat tables (seating for 12 students), piling with rope, a fishing fighting chair, and other marine themed elements to complete the look and feel of the Marine Industry Storefront.
“The unveiling of Sea the World is the beginning of what we plan on accomplishing in terms of educating children about the marine industry,” said Battles. “While this is a major accomplishment in maritime education, we have bigger goals ahead, including phase two of the build-out, and we’re discussing fostering a two-week maritime summer camp where students will visit local marine businesses to really dive in and understand what it’s like to work in our community. Our marine industry isn’t only a business – it’s a tight knit community and way of life for us. The younger generation should have the opportunity to experience this firsthand.”