YMTA originated as a non-profit membership organization was chartered under the laws of the State of Washington in 1996. YMTA was formed by representatives of maritime employers and labor organizations to expand youth awareness of the opportunities available in the maritime field, and facilitate training and education opportunities. YMTA was governed by an elected Board of Directors, Honorary and Advisory Boards.
Since initial development YMTA has grown in a variety of ways. One of the most prominent changes would be our merger with the non-profit Puget Sound Maritime Historical Society (PSM) where YMTA is a separate committee within the PSM organization to continue with the efforts of raising awareness of maritime careers. Another recent prominent change of YMTA is to grow the focus of our organization beyond the student realm and build ourselves as an informational resource for those ready to start a maritime career today. Our mission being to inspire maritime careers, and provide individuals of all ages the information needed to reach that point.
Regarding the merger of YMTA and Puget Sound Maritime,
The Puget Sound Maritime Historical Society (PSMHS) first became interested in the Youth Maritime Training Association (YMTA) career education program more than a decade ago. Several PSMHS volunteers helped staff the annual high school career day event during Seattle Maritime Week activities on the waterfront beginning about 2005, and the organization’s vice president began serving as a liaison to the YMTA board and participating in its activities.
This continuing involvement led in mid-2014 to PSMHS talks with the YMTA board about the possible acquisition of the respected 18-year-old program after a leadership change within YMTA. PSMHS had offered limited public education activities since its founding in 1948. But board members now saw the opportunity to help the maritime industry train and attract young people to meet its expanding workforce development needs. With older workers retiring, industry companies urgently needed replacement and also new employees at all levels.
After considerable discussion, the PSMHS board decided in November, 2014 to acquire the YMTA program to expand its own more general maritime education efforts. In January, 2015, PSMHS also shortened its name to simply Puget Sound Maritime or PSM, and added the descriptive words Heritage, Education, Research and Outreach to its logo. This allowed the organization to communicate its expanded maritime education mission while remaining focused on its traditional core functions. However, because of the YMTA’s positive organizational reputation and brand within and outside the maritime industry, PSM retained its initials, substituting “Activities” for the word “Association” in its name, thus becoming the Youth Maritime Training Activities program of PSM.
By the end of 2015, PSM was actively expanding the YMTA program. These efforts included increased participation in high school career fairs, a redesigned YMTA website for greater youth, parent and school career counselor use, and new involvement in statewide maritime workforce development initiatives.
Some significant YMTA Milestones include:
|September 9, 1996||The Creation of YMTA and First Meeting:
The YMTA held its first official meeting in the Thea Foss Conference Room at Foss Maritime Company. YMTA Executive Board members were elected;
|April 8, 1997||YMTA’s first educational partnership
YMTA and Ballard High School form partnership.
|January 10, 2000||Alliance formed with Seattle Propeller Club
The Seattle Propeller Club has joined into an alliance with the Youth Maritime Training Association to further the educational goals of both organizations.
|May 11, 2001||YMTA hosts Celebration in Maritime Education
The Youth Maritime Training Association held a Celebration in Maritime Education on Friday, May 11 at the Seattle Maritime Academy, with representatives from many local organizations.
|November 5, 2002||YMTA’s first partnership on Bainbridge Island
YMTA and North Kitsap High School’s Marine Technology program form partnership. “On behalf of the North Kitsap School District Career and Technical Education, and our current Marine Technology program, I’d like to shake hands with you and the YMTA. As new partners, we both have the same interests in mind – quality education and training opportunities for students to grow and succeed in the maritime industry,” wrote Jim Noeldner, Director of Career and Technical Education, North Kitsap Schools.
|January 10, 2003||OSC Marine Technology and YMTA form partnership
January 10, 2003 marked a partnership between Sea Tac Occupational Skills Center Marine Technology program and the Youth Maritime Training Association. In a letter from Reba Gilman, Principal/Director OSC to the Youth Maritime Training Association she wrote, “I am pleased to support the formal partnership of OSC’s Marine Technology Program and the Youth Maritime Training Association. The cooperation of our two organizations will serve to provide further educational opportunities for high school students interested in marine careers.”
|January 25, 2003||Northwest Seaport and YMTA to work on projects together
Joe Shickich, President Northwest Seaport and Norm Manly, President Youth Maritime Training Association shook hands and so began a long-term partnership that will have a positive impact on the education of high school students and adult volunteers from the Puget Sound area. The two organizations will combine forces to provide students with an education in wooden boats while they learn about the maritime heritage of Puget Sound and the Northwest Coast.
|March 7, 2003||YMTA’s first partnership in Grays Harbor
YMTA and Harbor High School’s maritime program form partnership. “On behalf of the Aberdeen School District No. 5 Career and Technical Education department, and our Marine Technology program, I’d like to express how happy we are to have the opportunity to enter into a partnership with your organization. Both of our organizations have the same interests in mind – providing quality education and training opportunities for students enabling them to reach their fullest potentials,” wrote Lynn Green, Director of Career and Technical Education.
|March 13, 2003||Gig Harbor school first YMTA elementary school partnership
“On behalf of Artondale Elementary in the Peninsula School District, we would like to express our enthusiasm for a partnership with the Youth Maritime Training Association.
Artondale has enjoyed past partnerships with Foss Maritime, J.M. Martinac Shipbuilding and Totem Ocean Trailer Express. We have also enjoyed trips and speakers from the U.S. Coast Guard, NOAA, Port of Tacoma and local Gig Harbor fishing organizations. Our goal is to Open a window to the maritime world for our students, through cross age teaching with the marine science instructor at Gig Harbor High School, to expand oceanographic knowledge.
We look forward, through our partnering with YMTA, to enhancing education opportunities with speakers, field trips, and links with marine technology using computer applications,” wrote Jim Coolican, Superintendent.
|April 15, 2003||Second partnership in Grays Harbor
YMTA and Hoquiam High School’s maritime program form partnership. “On behalf of the Hoquiam School District Career and Technical Education department, and our current Marine Science/Technology program, I’d like to express how happy we are to have the opportunity to enter into a partnership with your organization.
Both of our organizations have the same interests in mind – providing quality education and training opportunities for students enabling them to reach their fullest potentials. We are eager to generate through our partnership, more enhanced training and education for our students who dream of making a career in the maritime industry,” wrote Stan Severson, teacher Hoquiam High School.
Due to budget cut this great program was put on hold after the 2004 school year.
|October 15, 2003||YMTA partners with north sound high school
YMTA and Anacortes High School’s Marine Technology program form partnership. “Michael Beemer attended the last meeting of YMTA. He was very impressed with the organization and the opportunity to share resources and ideas with so many businesses and educators in the maritime technology field.
Since that time, I have met with our marine technology department and we wish to partner with your association. We are looking forward to working with you in an effort to improve the learning opportunities for our students,” wrote Marge Thomas, Director Career/Technical Education.
|December 10, 2003||YMTA’s first international partnership formed in Venice
YMTA and Sebastiano Venier, Venice, Italy’s Marine Technology program form partnership.
“As the Principal of the Technical Nautical Institute ‘Sebastiano Venier’ Venice, Italy, I am pleased to know from Ms Annavaleria Guazzieri, a teacher of English at our school, that she has come into contact with YMTA and that she has received positive feedback from you. She introduced me to your web site and read and translated your mission and vision statements. Together we looked at some of the many projects your are working at with different schools in Washington State. I am very proud of Ms Guazzieri being able to establish this initial link with your association, which has a longstanding tradition of supporting educational and maritime programs at different levels,” wrote Professor Salvatore Rizzo.
|February 11, 2004||First homeschool partnership formed in Edmonds
YMTA and Edmonds HomeSchool Resource Center form partnership. “This letter is to confirm our desire to become a member of the Youth Maritime Training Association (YMTA). As you know, we are beginning to participate with this wonderful organization, and look forward to a successful relation with YMTA, its schools and partners around Puget Sound and the Peninsula,” wrote Todd Christensen, Principal EHRC.
|May 12, 2004||Two non-profits join hands in maritime educational outreach
YMTA and Odyssey, the Maritime Discovery Center form partnership. “Over the past several years the Youth Maritime Training Association and Odyssey, the Maritime Discovery Center have successfully combined forces on projects that have benefited the youth of our region. Also, both organizations have a strong belief in the importance of providing maritime education and training to local students at an early age. The purpose of this letter is to request a formal partnership be formed between our two organizations.
The Mission Statements and Goals of both organizations provide a synergy for ceaseless opportunities for us to work together. With our interest focused on education of our youth, our maritime heritage and providing the pubic with information regarding the importance of the maritime industry on the Puget Sound’s financial health, we will have many opportunities to work together.
Our maritime industry is one of the best kept secrets in Washington State and together I know we can change that perception. Michael it is my hope we can look back twenty years from now and see the positive changes we have made for the people that live of our community,” wrote Norm Manly, President YMTA.
|May 12, 2004 –September 30, 2004||Alternative school, Center for Wooden Boats and YMTA working together
YMTA and Seattle Alternative School #1, Mr. Stevens program form partnership. With help from the Center for Wooden Boats and YMTA, Johnathan offers his students a unique experience at the Center for Wooden Boats each Friday. Pond Boat models are constructed and studied. Sailing is taught because it is fun and because it offers a relatively safe venue for adventure.
|May 20, 2005||Henry Foss High School, YMTA’s first partnership in Tacoma.
Over the winter, three meetings of the Henry Foss High School’s Marine Technology Advisory Committee were held to develop the basics of this new, exciting program. Beginning in September 2006 lead instructor Wayne Miller will begin a two-semester Marine Technology program. The focus of the first semester will be on maritime careers, local maritime history and the importance of the maritime industry to the Puget Sound Region. The second semester the class will be working with Mercury engines and repair to gas engines. If the program proves successful it will be expanded.
|October 21, 2005||YMTA receives a grant from 4Culture.
In a letter from Jim Kelly, Executive Director 4Culture YMTA receives announcement of a Heritage Education Culture Grant award of $3,500.
|August 9, 2006||YMTA Change of Watch.
The Seattle Maritime Academy hosted YMTA Change of Watch and Good Old Fashion Barbeque where Gary Stauffer relieved Norm Manly as President of the Youth Maritime Training Association.