The state of Rhode Island held its sixth annual Marine Industry Career Day last Saturday at the International Yacht Restoration School.
The concept behind the open house is to bring together industry players from the state and region to meet and greet potential employees who are looking to build a career in the marine field.
This year's event drew a diverse collection of companies - from builders and restorers of historic wooden boats to companies at the leading edge of modern composites technology. Companies from Rhode Island, New York, Connecticut and New York set up booths. About 150 people used the event to talk with employers and pursue options for jobs and careers.
Several companies told organizers they were more optimistic about adding jobs amid signs that the marine industry may be emerging from the recession, noting an overall uptick in hiring in the fourth quarter of 2010.
"IYRS has had this Career Day for six years and I've come to all of them," said Karl Nordstrom of New England Boatworks in Portsmouth, R.I. "This is the strongest Career Day I have even seen."