Document Type

Research Report

Publication Date



In 2005, a partnership between the South Coastal Workforce Investment Board, the Massachusetts Marine Trades Association, Massasoit Community College and the Urban Harbors Institute (UHI) of the University of Massachusetts Boston, developed and distributed a survey focused on the status, needs and future challenges faced by marine businesses in the South Coastal region of Massachusetts. The Urban Harbors Institute analyzed the responses and prepared this report to present the results.

The overall aims of the 2005 Marine Trades Workforce Assessment Survey were: to determine the extent of the marine industry’s labor needs in the South Coastal region of Massachusetts; to ascertain which skill sets are most in demand and for which there is a lack of qualified people; to assess the state of recreational marine employers; to identify the current and future challenges faced by the industry; to ascertain the needs for formal training and certification; to ascertain the most favorable types of training and the seasons when such training should be offered; to develop a statistical foundation for future initiatives; and, to compile crucial information to help stabilize the marine industry in Massachusetts and encourage it to grow.

Additionally, it was hoped that the survey would provide data that could be used to help dispel some of the myths or misconceptions that some have about the marine industry in general and, in particular in Massachusetts.

A total of 90 surveys were successfully delivered to marine and marine-related businesses within the study area. As the survey was largely focused on the labor needs within the industry, the majority of those businesses targeted were ones that would be expected to require personnel with particular skills unique to the marine industry. However, a smaller number of “marine-related” businesses were also surveyed as it was felt that while they may not require personnel with these particular skill sets, they could provide addition unique insight into the status of the industry and the challenges it may face in the future.

After a significant follow-up effort, a response rate of almost 47% was achieved.

While the report contains the full analysis and results, the key findings are presented below. These are followed by a number of recommendations, which were developed through a series of meetings between representatives of the partner organizations.


Prepared by the Urban Harbors Institute (University of Massachusetts Boston, 100 Morrissey Boulevard, Boston, MA 02125) in collaboration with the South Coastal Workforce Investment Board; Massachusetts Marine Trades Association; and Massasoit Community College.

This study was funded by a grant from the Massachusetts Office of Workforce Development and was administered by Commonwealth Corporation.

This report was produced by Dan Hellin of the Urban Harbors Institute of the University of Massachusetts Boston. Section 7 was produced by Massasoit Community College.

Invaluable assistance and input came from the following people:

  • Tina Marie Giambro, Port ’O Call Productions (formerly of Squantum Marine Consulting)
  • Ed Lofgren, 3A Marine Service, Inc.
  • Elaine Stewart, Division Dean, Workforce Development & Community Education, Massasoit Community College
  • Leona Roach, Executive Director, Massachusetts Marine Trades Association
  • Colleen Price, Executive Director, South Coastal Workforce Investment Board
  • Chantal Lefebvre, Research Associate, Urban Harbors Institute
  • Jack Wiggin, Director, Urban Harbors Institute



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