Bristol Marine: Career Growth through Apprenticeship

What do you get when you match outstanding client service with skilled craftsmanship?  Founded by Andy Tyska in 1998, Bristol Marine sets themselves apart by being customer focused and delivering a personalized level of service based on clients’ needs.  Maintaining this organizational philosophy requires a dedicated and trained workforce; apprenticeship is a natural fit.

One of the key roles in a boat yard, and perhaps hardest to fill, is the Marine Service Manager position, which provides an important intermediary role between the client, boat yard team and marina staff.  “The biggest challenge in hiring someone new for the role was fitting into our hard-work, client-focused culture. It was always a gamble.” explains Patrick McLoughlin, Vice President of Operations.

The Rhode Island Marine Trades Association (RIMTA), in partnership with Apprenticeship RI, is helping to solve this challenge. In the Marine Support Service Manager Apprenticeship program, current employees, from either an administrative or technical background, are trained in a part-time support role with the potential for promotion to Marine Service Manager. Mr. Mcloughlin adds, “This program has allowed us to create a curriculum specific to Bristol Marine that encourages promising employees to develop the skills that will give them more opportunity for career growth.”

RIMTA, co-located at Bristol Marine, has a long-standing appreciation for the benefits and impact of the apprenticeship model. This new partnership with Apprenticeship RI expands upon RIMTA’s successful pre-apprenticeship program, which provides a trained talent pipeline to their members. “Our partnership with Apprenticeship RI has expanded the range of workforce benefits that we provide to our employer members. We are excited to offer a hands-on training program that supports the retention and advancement of talented staff. ” says Wendy Mackie, Executive Director of RIMTA.  Current apprentices, Brendan Prior and Jared Lachance, agree that the apprenticeship program’s hands-on learning approach has been effective in helping them gain the new skills and knowledge needed to advance their careers. Brendan states, “Exposure to classroom training and real world challenges in the workplace allows me to really understand and look forward to my new position.”