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IYRS career event set for Saturday

The eighth annual Marine Industry & Career Day, sponsored by the Rhode Island Marine Trades Association and the International Yacht Restoration School, will be held on Saturday.

The event will draw employers from throughout the region who come to the school with one goal in mind: connecting with people interested in careers in the marine and composites industry.

Career Day, which is free to the public, will take place from 9 a.m. to noon at the IYRS Newport campus at 449 Thames St. In addition to meeting and talking with employers, attendees can learn about training opportunities and attend presentations by experts on career building, technology and working in the marine industry.

Recent data reveal a positive outlook for hiring in the Rhode Island marine industry, according to a survey conducted by the Rhode Island Marine Trades Association. The responding companies employ a combined work force of some 700 people. In the last 12 months these companies have created 93 new positions and they expect their combined work force to grow an additional 12 percent in the next 12 months.

“The data we are seeing is painting a positive picture — both for the marine trades and for those who are interested in working in this important Rhode Island industry,” association CEO Wendy Mackie said in a statement. “Career Day is a valuable once-a-year opportunity for individuals who are interested in networking with employers, learning more about our business and building a career.”

Neal Harrell — founder of Newport-based Brooks Marine Group, a recruiting firm that specializes in the marine industry — sees this same growth in hiring in the marine industry on a national level.

“We are definitely on an uptick right now,” Harrell said in a statement. “I’d call it a hiring blitz. The biggest demand I see is for skilled trades personnel at boatyards and dealerships.”

Harrell said mechanics, systems-related technicians, electronics experts and composites builders are skill areas in high demand. Harrell is also seeing hiring among OEM boat manufacturers, a result of pent-up demand for new boats; the new-boat sector he sees as being strongest is the under-30-foot sector.

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