NEWPORT – The ninth annual Marine & Composites Industry Career Day on Saturday, March 22, at the IYRS Newport campus will connect employers and career seekers.
The free, one-day event is hosted by IYRS School of Technology & Trades and the Rhode Island Marine Trades Association.
“The marine industry suffered such a blow from 2008 to 2010. We lost a lot of talent to other industries and we lost a lot of talent to retirement,” says Neal Harrell, president of Brooks Marine Group, a Newport-based recruiting firm that specializes in the marine industry. “We have positions open all over the industry, all over the country, but we don’t have the skilled labor force to fill those positions.”
A skills-gap study being conducted for the association projects that this trend will persist. By 2020, Rhode Island’s marine industry will need to hire an additional 1,800 workers because 71 of the vacancies will be left by Baby Boomers who are aging out of the workforce.
This year’s Career Day has drawn employers from the largest geographic area in the event’s history, according to IYRS Industry Relations Coordinator Holly Ashton. “We have employers coming from as far afield as Maine, Florida and Michigan. They are interested in meeting our students as well as those with the appropriate skills who want to work in the composites and marine industries,” said Ashton.
According to association CEO Wendy Mackie, it is a “buyer’s market for anyone with skills that apply to the boating business—whether those were gained around boats, or they are skills such as carpentry or electrical and electronics expertise that can transfer to the marine trades.”
The event will be held from 10:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the IYRS Newport campus at 449 Thames St. Registration is not required but is recommended; registered attendees will receive additional information to help them prepare for the event.
More information, a list of participating companies, interviews with Career Day seminar leaders and employers, and a registration link can be found at www.iyrs.edu/careerday.