About 40 employers from across New England and as far as New York will be on hand in Newport Saturday to find workers to fill jobs in the growing marine and composites industries.
“The marine industry suffered such a blow from 2008 to 2010. We lost a lot of talent to other industries and we lost a lot of talent to retirement,” said Neal Harrell, president of Brooks Marine Group, a Newport-based recruiting firm that specializes in the marine industry, last year in advance of the ninth Career Day. “We have positions open all over the industry, all over the country, but we don’t have the skilled labor force to fill those positions.”
A skills-gap study being conducted for RIMTA estimated the trend isn’t going away anytime soon. By 2020, Rhode Island’s marine industry will need to hire an additional 1800 workers.
According to RIMTA CEO Wendy Mackie, the perfect-storm scenario in the marine workforce is not news to the industry, and organizations such as RIMTA, area trade schools, and local high schools have worked in concert for several years to offer programs that give individuals a base of training on which to launch their careers.
The skills-gap study conducted for RIMTA puts the average marine-industry salary in Rhode Island at approximately 5% higher than the average salary in the state’s private sector.
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