SEATTLE –The Northwest Marine Trade Association (NMTA) held its second annual Career Fair at the Seattle Boat Show on Monday, Feb. 1, with twice as many exhibitors signed up to participate, looking to fill 250 openings, and three times the number of job-seekers attended as compared to last year.
New boat sales in Washington state were up 23.7 percent in 2015. It is the fourth consecutive year that Washington State new boat dealers had a year-over-year increase in unit sales and the best since 2009. Consequently other affiliated businesses– local boat builders, yacht outfitters, boat yards and more – are experiencing similar growth, creating many job opportunities. Workforce development has been one of the top priorities at the NMTA for the past two years.
“There’s a critical need within our industry for trained craftsmen and qualified technicians,” said Peter Schrappen, NMTA vice president and director of the career fair. “We have been working at the both the legislative and education level to help our members. Using the Seattle Boat Show as a platform to play matchmaker for members and job seekers only made sense. We’re delighted with the success of it and the feedback we’ve been getting from members.”
Members were pleased with the turnout and quality of attendees.
"If you want one word to describe my take on this year's Career Fair, it’s ‘wow!’" said Jim Brown of Monkey Fist Marine. "I wasn't sure what to expect, but I can surely tell you that I didn't expect to meet three well-qualified candidates for my two openings. This is just another example of the NMTA answering the bell for its members."
"I interviewed about seven divers on the spot that I plan on following up with," said Sterling Hines of Sterling Marine. "Given the narrow focus of what we do (diving), I was very impressed with the high caliber of talent that I interacted with."