What is the Marine Dealers Education Network (MDEN)?

From ongoing interactions with members of the Top 100 Marine Dealers there is resounding consensus that the biggest challenge facing the industry today is the dire workforce shortage of talented, certified, knowledgeable and highly-trained marine service technicians and marine craftspeople.

At GLBBS, our programs are designed to attract and train those seeking to work within the marine industry. Through our courses in Marine Service Technology, Comprehensive Career Boat Building, and upcoming Marine Electronics program, we have created a one- of-a-kind training school dedicated to teaching the skills needed to be successful in today’s world. As the only accredited marine-industry training school in the Great Lakes region, we work to promote the many exciting and enticing careers that this wonderful industry offers.

With a 100% placement rate for graduates, we have been recognized by many as an exceptional pipeline of marine skilled-trades talent. To continue our mission of preparing students for rewarding careers within the marine industry, we have created an exciting new program aimed at promoting our business partners and creating relationships between students and future employers, all while supporting the important work being done at the Great Lakes Boat Building School.

The GLBBS Marine Dealer Education Network is an exclusive partnership between the school and marine dealer industry leaders seeking to positively influence the future of the industry by impacting the education and development of future marine industry professionals. By becoming an MDEN Member, you will have a hands-on role in combating the workforce shortage and promoting this vital industry to those who seek a career on the water.

Marine Trades Showcase

Irish Boat Shop MDEN Interview

MDEN Member Benefits

As an MDEN partner, you will receive the exclusive benefits promoting your business to your community and connecting you to GLBBS students who are preparing to enter the workforce.

1. Recruitment Day at GLBBS

Your representatives come to the school, meet and present to the students about your business and employment opportunities.

2. Virtual Teachable Moment Sessions

Once a semester you provide a Virtual Teachable Moment Session (up to 30 minutes) based on a unique or special situation at your dealership. This will complement GLBBS curriculum and stimulate students’ thinking about the career opportunities available to them with your organization.

3. On-Site "Marine Trades Showcase" Event

Dealer hosts an on-site Marine Trades Showcase at your business in partnership with GLBBS to attract potential students from your area to learn about the career opportunities in the marine industry.

4. Nomination for Seat on the GLBBS Program Advisory Board (PAB)

The agreement provides for one nomination to the GLBBS PAB for consideration by its Board of Directors. By serving on the PAB you will be privy to the program developments at GLBBS and your participation can influence offerings at the school. In addition, the informal interactions with students and other industry professionals are valuable networking opportunities.

5. GLBBS MDEN Partnership Wall

Your business will be highlighted prominently on the MDEN Partnership Wall in an attractive, poster-sized display. This will serve as a daily recruitment tool as your business will become a top of mind employment opportunity during the students’ daily activities.

6. GLBBS MDEN Member Exclusive Marketing Partnership

The school has become very active in industry publications and social media. As a MDEN member the synergy of our publicity and social media tactics will meld so well with your programs to foster a truly mutually beneficial relationship and imaging.

  • “We have been involved with Great Lakes Boat Building School and hired graduates that are developing careers with us now. Joining this network and sponsoring a future student was a natural next step for us to attract more talented people and enhance our relationship with GLBBS.”


MDEN Member Showcase

Learn more about our members and their involement in the program, success they've seen by participating.

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Irish Boat Shop has provided services to recreational boaters in Harbor Springs since 1961, Lake Charlevoix since 1971, and Traverse City since 2018.  Their family-owned operation, modern facilities, and breadth of experience is why they are considered the boating experts in Northern Michigan. Even with their long history of excellence in the area, it has still been difficult to find well-trained and qualified technicians. Through their MDEN partnership, Irish Boat Shop aims to support the education that GLBBS is providing the future workforce.

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Jefferson Beach Yacht Sales (JBYS) located in the heart of the mile-long, lakefront strip of Jefferson Avenue between Nine Mile and 10 Mile Road in St. Clair Shores, is the second member of the Great Lakes Boat Building School’s (GLBBS) Marine Dealer Education Network (MDEN).

With nearly five decades of experience, the team at Jefferson Beach Yacht Sales has an exceptional understanding of what it takes to build a successful career in the marine industry. With seven locations along the Great Lakes and one in Naples, Florida, they have a unique appreciation for the boating lifestyle and a deep understanding of what their customers need. This passion for the industry is shared by their employees, a team of over 50 trained and qualified professionals who combined boast over 700 years of experience in the marine industry.

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Lakeside Marina of Oshkosh, Wisconsin. Lakeside Marina is renowned as one of Wisconsin’s premier boat dealerships and service centers have consistently earned the title of “Best Boat Dealership” in Winnebago County for the past five years. Their unwavering commitment to exceptional customer service and innovative offerings like a boat-sharing program has set them apart as industry leaders. By joining the MDEN, Lakeside Marina is eager to offer employment opportunities to the extraordinary talent graduating from GLBBS.

Student Sponsorship Program

A key component of the MDEN relationship is the Student Sponsorship Program. By funding a portion of the student’s tuition, you can have a GLBBS student commit to work for your company for one year following graduation. This is a win-win for both parties, as students can earn money toward their education and businesses have a guaranteed commitment from a future employee who is trained and eager to begin working in the industry.

An additional sponsorship agreement is mutually executed between your organization and GLBBS that clearly stipulates requirements and expectations.

Typically, a graduate commits to a minimum of one year of work with a defined starting wage, benefits that could include health insurance, retirement plan, housing assistance, moving expenses, tool allowance, etc. MDEN Members and sponsors have found that $15,000 is most effective covering about two-thirds of a student’s tuition expense allowing that they also have some personal “skin in the game.”

Sponsorship agreements also include whatever new-hire practices your company typically employs, such as background checks, physicals, etc. We will work with you to create a sponsorship that will work best for your company and attract the right fit for your team.

Join the Marine Dealers Education Network Today!

By becoming an MDEN Member, you are helping develop the next generation of the marine industry workforce!! Request an MDEN Membership Packet or schedule a meeting with Tom Coates, Director of Development, to join the network today.

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