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Career Day event set for Rhode Island

Marine and Composites Industry Career Day, which will take place March 7 in Newport, R.I., comes on the heels of the National Marine Manufacturers Association announcement that the industry has grown for three consecutive years.

Paired with that growth is an escalating need for a workforce that can fuel the demand for boats and boating products. About 40 companies from Maine to New York will attend Career Day to connect with people who are interested in working in the marine and composites industries.

Co-hosted by the Rhode Island Marine Trades Association and IYRS, the event is free to the public and will be held at the IYRS Newport Campus from 10:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Three breakout sessions will be held so career seekers can learn from experts.

“In the 18 years I have been in the recruiting business, I have never seen a market where marine-trades talent is in such high demand,” Neal Harrell, president of the Brooks Marine Group, a recruiting firm focused on the recreational marine business, said in a statement.

Harrell has tracked the post-recession recovery of the boating industry. With the first signs of recovery, Harrell saw requests for design and engineering talent that could develop new products; then came requests for managerial talent to coordinate that hoped-for production.

Today, Harrell sees a full-blown need for workers at all levels, including manufacturing and skilled hands-on talent, “which means we are beyond designing and engineering product and we are building it,” he said.

Harrell’s recruiting caseload at Brooks Marine Group has roughly doubled.

Attendees can talk with boatbuilders, marinas and boatyards, marine manufacturers, educational institutions and composites companies that also work in non-marine sectors, such as transportation, military and architecture.

Attendees who want to deepen their skills can learn about the free training programs that RIMTA offers and the IYRS programs in Composites Technology, Marine Systems and Boatbuilding & Restoration.

The lineup of breakout sessions is:

• 9 a.m. — “Navigating Your Job Search” with Neal Harrell, president, Brooks Marine Group

• 9:30 a.m. — “What Brewer Yacht Yards Look for in a Candidate” with Rives Potts, president/COO, Brewer Yacht Yards

• 11 a.m. — “Skills Needed in the Marine & Composites Industry Workforce,” a panel of experts moderated by Wendy Mackie, CEO of RIMTA

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