Great Lakes Boat Building School

Great Lakes Boat Building School Garners Support for Equipment Campaign

Cedarville, MI – Great Lakes Boat Building School (GLBBS) recently received a $10,000 donation from the Marine Leadership Alliance in support of their “Enhancing Education with Equipment” (EEE) Campaign. The funding is earmarked for creating an engine test tank area in their new facility that will become the MLA Marine Engine Testing Area.

The Marine Leadership Alliance (MLA) is a forum to promote the exchange and advancement of marine industry issues, ideas and solutions. The Alliance consists of leaders from the following organizations: ASA Electronics, BH Electronics, Dometic Corporation, Faria/Beede Instruments, GEM Products, Glen Raven, Inland Plywood Company, Lenco Marine, Merrimac Marine Insurance, Syntec Industries, Taylor Made Group, Transhield, Inc., Volvo Penta of the Americas and William F. Miller & Associates.

The MLA annual conference brings together thought-leaders and innovators to share insights for a full multidisciplinary experience. This year’s conference was held April 24 to 26, 2023 at The Cloister, in Sea Island, Georgia where GLBBS President Nikki Storey made a presentation about the school and accepted the gift.

“It was an incredible experience to be in the same room and present to so many outstanding leaders in the marine industry about what we have accomplished and what is planned for the future at our school,” said Storey. “We are honored to be the recipient of their foundation’s support and humbled that they believe strongly in our mission of preparing students for rewarding careers in the marine industry. We are sincerely grateful for the MLA’s generosity and hospitality.”

The MLA gift moves the needle to a total of $163,500 (or 19% of the goal) in funding and gift-in-kind support towards the campaign goal of $850,000.  MLA joins Ilmor Engineering of Plymouth, MI and Gage Marine of Lake Geneva in supporting this initiative.

“Each year our Foundation’s leadership convenes to consider supporting a non-profit organization that makes a profound and positive impact on the marine industry,” said Hill Lenderman, President of William F. Miller & Associates and current President of the MLA. “With how Great Lakes Boat Building School is transforming the lives of their students, many are military veterans, by preparing them for rewarding careers and helping address the dire workforce shortage of marine professionals, it didn’t take long to build consensus among our members.”

The premise for the school’s EEE Campaign is the need for new marine equipment and technology required to deliver Mercury University’s Level II Technician certification. Great Lakes Boat Building School (GLBBS) would be the second marine trades institution in the country to offer this specialized and much needed training. The other institution is in Florida. Also, due to demand from the industry, GLBBS will offer Ilmor Engineering and Volvo Penta diesel curriculum which requires additional equipment.  Graduates with these certifications will help address the dire workforce shortage in the marine industry.

Later this summer, construction will commence on the 10,000 sq. ft. Marine Technology Center. This cutting edge marine trades educational facility will house the school’s Marine Service Technology Program and the only Marine Electronics Technology training facility in the country, among other outstanding features. To exceed the challenges of delivering the premier marine skilled trades educational experiences for students, this facility must be furnished with the best marine technology and equipment.

For more information on how to support the “Enhancing Education with Equipment Campaign” and available naming opportunities contact Tom Coates, Director of Development at or (906) 484-1081.   

About Great Lakes Boat Building School

GLBBS produces qualified students from their Comprehensive Career Boat Building Program (CCBB) and the Marine Service Technology Program (MST), in partnership with Mercury Marine University, with a consistent 100% placement rate.  The School addresses the shortage of skilled trades and craftspeople in the marine industry following graduation. For prospective student enrollment information go to or call 906.484.1081.

Information about the “Enhancing Education with Equipment Campaign” is available by contacting Tom Coates, Director of Development at or by calling 906.484.1081. 

Great Lakes Boat Building School is a non-profit organization recognized as a charitable organization and is accredited by the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges.

Presidential Greetings – Hill Lenderman, President of William F. Miller & Associates (left) greets Nikki Storey, President – Great Lakes Boat Building School at the Marine Leadership Alliance Annual Conference at The Cloister, Sea Island, Georgia. Henderman is a member of Marine Leadership Alliance which presented a $10,000 donation to Storey in support of the school’s “Enhancing Education with Equipment Campaign.”