The Recreational Boating Industries Educational Foundation (RBIEF) Board of Directors is proud to announce a new direction for the foundation, which was established in 1986 by the Michigan Boating Industries Association and has the mission to advance, promote and protect the recreational marine industry in Michigan. 


“In our efforts to advance the industry through our foundation, we have made a commitment to provide education and support to all of our members,” said RBIEF Director Jim Coburn. “The new direction of RBIEF is expanded and will offer a wider scope of support and focuses on our members as a true member benefit.”


Specifically, RBIEF’s new purpose is to offer financial assistance through full or matching tuition or registration support for MBIA members, member’s employees, family and students for both industry education and college scholarships.


RBIEF is a highly successful and well-respected program that has offered tuition support for students interested in pursuing careers in the recreational boating industry, awarding more than $340,000 to deserving students in Michigan over its 30 years of existence.


“Educational opportunities are abundant in the marine industry, and industry education serves supports the growth of our industry,” said MBIA Executive Director Nicki Polan. “We are excited to re-focus RBIEF to benefit MBIA members, their employees and their families.”


RBIEF will offer full or partial funding assistance for MBIA members, employees, family and students to attend specific marine industry educational programs offered by local, statewide or national marine organizations such as MBIA’s Recreational Boating Educational Conference, ABYC’s Certification Workshops, NMMA American Boating Congress, manufacturer sponsored education, and MRAA’s Marine Dealer Conference and Expo.  


RBIEF continues to be committed to sharing information about the many interesting and challenging jobs available within the boating industry. “All industries can benefit from bright young minds and the perspectives of our younger generations,” said Coburn. “We encourage everyone to learn more about Michigan’s $7.4 billion marine industry.”


The Michigan Boating Industries Association is a state-wide, non-profit organization representing more than 300 marine businesses in Michigan. The boating industry in Michigan represents a $7.4 billion economic impact in Michigan, with more than 758 marinas, 460 marine dealers and more than 58,000 jobs. For more information about RBIEF and the marine industry, visit MBIA’s website www.mbia.org.