The Eastport Yacht Club (EYC) Foundation’s 10th Annual Marine Career Expo took place at Maryland Hall for the Creative Arts on Wednesday, Feb. 19, 2020. The event was sponsored by the Marine Trades Association of Maryland (MTAM) and the Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay and run with the help of EYC volunteers and Anne Arundel County Public Schools staff.
Organizers said this year’s expo saw some big changes from previous years, with the event being held on a school day and a focused effort on attracting high school students from all over Anne Arundel County. The event featured 25 exhibitors representing schools, government agencies, nonprofit organizations, and maritime and recreational boating businesses. chairman of the EYC Foundation Tim Wilbricht kicked the day off by encouraging students to “go find their career.”
The 185 students in attendance were able to ask exhibitors about the different programs, trainings and career opportunities they were offering and how to take advantage of them. One attendee learned about MTAM’s On-the-Job Training Program and met one of the program’s participating employers, Nick Doetsch of Pasadena Boat Works on the vendor floor. The attendee expressed interest in exploring a career in the marine trades and through the connections he made at the expo, started his on-the-job training at Pasadena Boat Works the following week.
Attendees also rotated through breakout sessions where volunteer speakers from environmental groups, the MTAM, and the Coast Guard shared their stories and personal experiences relative to their respective areas and fielded questions from students like “what were you studying when you were in high school?” and “how did you decide on your current career?”
One of the breakout speakers, Matt Jones of Diversified Marine Services was “flying high all week long after the event.”
“I had a great time talking to the students and really enjoyed each session,” he said. “I think I got just as much out of the sessions as the students. I was quite impressed with how engaged the students were as well.”
EYC Foundation Board Member and Expo organizer, Tammy Diedrich said the new expo format was considered a great success. “We heard positive feedback about the event from students, teachers, speakers, exhibitors, and volunteers,” she said. “We look forward to making the 2021 event even bigger!”