Heuste says she hopes it boosts the school's enrollment. She's gotten calls of interest from not only the lake area but also outside the area.

A new partnership between a major outboard motor company and Lake Career & Technical Center is expected to boost renewed interest in marine technology at the lake and beyond.

LCTC recently entered into a technical school partnership agreement with Yamaha Marine Group that allows Yamaha to establish a marine technology program for adults and high school students. Yamaha will provide training materials, service manuals and some equipment to LCTC in Camdenton to work in the school's marine tech curriculum.

"Our goal is to sign up 100 tech schools across the nation," Yamaha's regional service manager Curt Gilliam explained. "Yamaha is doing this on a large scale because there is a shortage of marine technicians and we want to have certified Yamaha technicians in place to service our products in years to come."

The school could receive used or donated parts as part of the program.

Kathy Heuste, LCTC assistant director, said the LCTC staff and Camdenton Board of Education welcome the new program.

"It's a huge win for our school because it allows high school students and adult students access to curriculum, technical manuals and parts and equipment as part of Yamaha Marine University to be certified to become technicians," she said. 

Yamaha reached out to LCTC last year as part of the marine company's expansion of its technology program.

Heuste says she hopes it boosts the school's enrollment. She's gotten calls of interest from not only the lake area but also outside the area.

"We can place 100 percent of our graduates," she said.

The plan is to develop the curriculum and implement the training program for adult students first -- possibly this spring -- and then have it ready for high school students next year.

Yamaha dealers, and other marine companies, are struggling to find qualified technicians for their programs. LCTC already has curriculum for Mercury and Volvo Penta marine programs. 

The Camdenton Board of Education authorized the agreement at its Jan. 8 regular meeting, paving the way for LCTC to became part of the Tech School Partnership Program. There's not cost to the CSD and benefits to LCTC include having access to Yamaha's business system, parts and equipment. 

"Our goal is to provide as much support for the program as possible since in the long run it will benefit Yamaha as well," Gilliam said.


New Yamaha Marine University initiatives will include an apprenticeship program for developing skilled dealer technicians, as well as classroom training, online modules, trade school collaborations, and online education modules, according to a Yamaha news release on its website.

Career development training focuses on helping students enter the marine industry and build a career in marine service. This pillar is vital when it comes to growing the number of skilled technicians to improve customer satisfaction. Through training available at Yamaha headquarters, technical schools, and the dealer workplace, career development content champions marine personnel as they learn and grow in their careers, the news release explained.