The Northwest Marine Trade Association held its second annual career fair at the Seattle Boat Show on Feb. 1.
Twice as many exhibitors signed up to participate, looking to fill 250 openings, and three times the number of job seekers attended, compared with last year.
The trade group said new-boat sales in Washington state were up 23.7 percent in 2015, marking the fourth consecutive year that the state’s new-boat dealers had a year-over-year increase in unit sales and the best year since 2009.
Consequently, other affiliated businesses — including local boatbuilders, yacht outfitters and boatyards — are experiencing similar growth, creating many job opportunities, the trade group said.
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,” NMTA vice president and director of the career fair Peter Schrappen said in a statement. “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.”
"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."