The St. Maarten Marine Trades Association (SMMTA) has worked hand in hand with the National Institute for Professional Advancement (NIPA) to help secure jobs in the marine industry for approximately 75% of the first cohort of maritime students.  Brian Deher, President of the SMMTA stated “The St. Maarten Marine Trades Association has for many years now been focusing on helping the youth of St. Maarten understand, appreciate, and work in the different fields that make up the marine industry.  This ranges from helping kids get started in swimming, sailing and fishing programs as hobbies to engaging students in programs such as Build Your Future where they actually learn to build, operate and maintain an actual sailboat. From the onset we have been strong supporters of NIPA, especially the maritime program, and we are happy to say that most of the students that are ready to graduate the first level of maritime training have secured jobs in the marine industry.”  Mr. Deher went on to thank the entire SMMTA membership for their support and especially Island Water World, Aquamania Adventures, The Yacht Club Port de Plaisance, and IGY Marinas for employing the students.  Mr. Deher added “A special thank you is due to Garth Steyn and Iain Mobbs and their team at St. Maarten Sailing School as well as Etienne Lake, Mike Van Roij, Anthony Mc Leod and the team at IGY Marinas for providing months of hands on, job training for the students.”   According to the SMMTA, their success in working with NIPA was due to their close working relationship with the school’s board as well as the staff.   Deher commented that “we worked extremely closely with many of the staff and board members at the school but especially with Mrs. Andrea Gibson Paul and Mr. Garfield Sargeant who without their continued assistance and dedication, and the board’s support, our success this year may not have been possible.”

The SMMTA reaffirmed their commitment to working with NIPA, other schools, and the Government to encourage more young people to get involved with the marina industry on St. Maarten.