In mid-May, a collective of Seattle-based maritime organizations, including the Port of Seattle, kicked off a local “Maritime Works” campaign drawing awareness to local opportunities for young adults looking for a high-wage career based in Puget Sound.
For the first time, essential maritime career information is consolidated on one website, washingtonmaritimecareers.org, where multiple career paths are presented including contacts, wage scales, education requirements and necessary tools to get started.
Campaign partners, including the Port of Seattle and Propeller Club, launched the initiative May 12 at the annual Seattle Maritime Breakfast.
“Maritime and industrial businesses are part of Seattle’s future,” Port of Seattle Commission President Sam Cho said. “Yesterday’s recruiting strategies have no hope of keeping up with the demand in maritime hiring. Maritime industries recognize that (by) channeling resources and embracing diversity in recruiting, we can find and train that next generation of maritime workers and leaders.”
The new web-based career resource was produced and compiled by the Center of Excellence for Marine Manufacturing & Technology at Skagit Valley College and Career Connect Washington. The site is designed to provide information necessary to guide anyone into a maritime-based career, along with presenting job opportunities for those between the ages of 18 to 34.
“One need only look at our state’s ferry service last summer to see that we have a real shortage of qualified mariners to staff these vessels and provide the required skills to keep this vital transportation system afloat,“ Ann Avary, director of the Skagit Valley College center, said. “Not only is it mariners that we need, but the skills to build the next generation of ferry vessels necessary to keep the largest ferry system in North America operating sufficiently.”
By accessing the careers website, interested parties can explore the job opportunities, programming, education and registered apprenticeship options for students and those who want to enter Washington’s maritime industry, along with professional development opportunities for educators.
Many entry-level positions don’t require a four-year degree; workers can enter the industry with a certificate or credential. The skills and training needed can also be obtained by attending a community or technical college, entering an apprenticeship program.