The 11th Annual Marine and Composites Industry Career Day will be held on April 2 at the IYRS Newport Campus. The career day, which is hosted by the Rhode Island Marine Trades Association (RIMTA) and IYRS School of Technology and Trades, is for individuals who are interested in working in the marine or composites industries, two business sectors poised for growth. The event is free and runs from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., with breakout sessions beginning at 9 a.m.
The boating industry is coming off of four years of steady growth, and according to the National Marine Manufacturers Association, that trend is expected to continue in 2016. According to the American Composites Manufacturers Association, the U.S. composites industry is projected to grow an average of 6.5 percent between now and 2020; Rhode Island is an area of concentrated activity in this sector, as many boat builders have expanded their expertise into other industries.
Over 30 companies from as far afield as Maine and Florida are expected to attend, including boat builders, marinas and boatyards, schools and training institutions, and composites companies that work in marine and non-marine sectors such as aerospace, transportation, defense and architecture. Attendees can network with companies, learn about job openings, attend seminars geared toward career-seekers and talk to organizers of training programs that are proven pathways to jobs.
Event organizers encourage career-seekers at all levels to attend — including skilled tradesmen and tradeswomen, managerial talent, individuals skilled in trades that could translate to composites and the marine trades, and even those who are not yet skilled but are willing to learn.
Marine companies such as New England Boatworks (NEB) of Portsmouth are coming to Career Day in search of a wide range of talented workers — from marine carpenters to electricians, mechanics, composite boat builders and riggers. NEB is coming off a busy period with two new boats slated for launching, including a 38-foot Doug Zurn powerboat and a Tripp 62 sailboat. But according the Harry Hallgring, NEB human resources/safety director, the company still has a large ongoing workload and Career Day and training programs offered by RIMTA and IYRS are valuable workforce resources.
Classic motoryacht builder Huckins Yacht Corporation of Jacksonville is making the 1100-mile trek to New England to attend their first Career Day. According the Sara Gielow, who oversees marketing and business development, the company is looking to Rhode Island to find finish carpenters, such as those trained at IYRS, who produce the high quality Huckins Yachts are known for.
Several training programs will be represented at the event, including the RIMTA Marine & Composites Pre-Apprenticeship Training Program — a seven-week course supported by the Governor’s Workforce Board that is free to Rhode Islanders and a popular source for entry-level workers. Attendees can also see the IYRS facility, meet the school’s staff, and learn about the IYRS programs in Boatbuilding & Restoration, Marine Systems, and Composites Technology; many companies attending Career Day come with the express goal of meeting IYRS students ready to begin their careers.
For more information, visit the Career Day website at iyrscareerday.com. Pre-registration for this free event is not required but will save attendees time upon arrival.