FORT LAUDERDALE — The Marine Industries Association of South Florida scheduled its second Marine Industry Day for noon to 6 p.m. on June 20 at Esplanade Park along downtown Fort Lauderdale’s Riverwalk on the New River.
Marine Industry Day’s purpose is to promote the industry and engage the community at an event that is family-oriented, fun and “tells our story,” MIASF executive director Phil Purcell said Wednesday at a media committee meeting at the MIASF office for the event.
“We get together for boat shows, but we don’t do much to promote the industry,” Purcell said. “We need to tell people, ‘We’re your neighbor. We buy your cars. We go to your restaurants.’ ”
Yards, builders, marinas, and sales, service and support businesses employ 110,000 workers in Broward County and generate an estimated $8.8 billion annually, according to a 2014 economic impact study that the MIASF commissioned.
The event brings industry workers and community members together. Last year’s event drew more than 2,000 people and 25 interactive and educational exhibits, including one where children raced model boats and designed and built props for their entry; a pirate ship; a helm station simulator where children could “drive” a boat; family games; antique boat and motor displays; and entertainment and food trucks.
Purcell said the event engages the public, talks about the industry’s contributions to the region and mobilizes public support on issues important to the industry: All Aboard Florida; New River dredging; building a new Las Olas marina; redeveloping the Broward County Convention Center and the Bahia Mar Fort Hotel and Marina; adopting a sales-tax cap on yacht refits; and persuading the federal government to assign a separate occupational code to the marine industry so data about it can be segregated.
The association has partnered with golf champion Jack Nicklaus in a video about the South Florida industry and is involved in Habitat for Humanity, a project that highlights the industry’s involvement in the community.
“We need to go outside our industry and pass on these stories, tell our story,” Purcell said,
Information about Marine Industry Day and how to get involved is available at www.marineindustryday.org.