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Career fair draws job seekers for Rhode Island jobs

Posted on February 21, 2011

A career fair taking place in New England is sure to become a big attraction for job seekers seeking Rhode Island jobs.

The Sixth Annual Marine Industry Career Day, which will be held on Saturday, March 5, at the International Yacht Restoration School in Newport, will draw marine industry experts and employers who are all coming to IYRS with one goal in mind: to connect with individuals interested in marine careers. This one-day event will give career seekers an opportunity to talk with employers and gather information about hiring trends and technology that will give them an edge in the job marketplace.

“The marine industry is a dynamic business right now, as companies plan for new production and workforce demands as they pull away from the recession,” says Susan Daly, IYRS Vice President of Programming. “We invited a wide variety of companies this year, as well as speakers who have their finger of the pulse of the industry to educate marine professionals, job seekers, and those considering marine careers in the future.”

Career Day, which is free to members of the public, will take place on March 5 from 10 am to 1 pm at IYRS Restoration Hall at 449 Thames Street in Newport. The event will draw companies from throughout the Eastern Seaboard, many of whom are looking to meet qualified job candidates. Career Day also features an educational element, and three presentations will be held according to the following schedule:

10:30 am – “State of the Marine Industry: Jobs, Trends & Technology” / Neal Harrell, Brooks Marine Group

11:30 am – “Funding Your Education” / Debra Huntington, IYRS

12:30 pm – “Career Opportunities in the Advanced Composites Industry” / Rich O’Meara, Core Composites

Any individual who wants to learn about the composites industry and its career opportunities will not want to miss the event’s featured presentation by Rich O’Meara, owner and president of Core Composites of Newport. O’Meara will give attendees an overview of the role that composites play in our world today, and the wealth of career opportunities born of their use. 

Industries that manufacture structures that need to be light in weight yet strong, durable, and corrosion resistant use composites—including the marine industry, the alternative energy field of wind power, the automotive and aerospace industries, and even the construction field. The industry also has a green component, as this type of construction allows industries to reduce the mass of materials and natural resources used to build structures.

“Advanced composites are the future for anything that rolls, floats, or flies,” says O’Meara. “They are also  valuable in building stationary objects and will play a role in the future of the construction trades…Individuals who attend my talk at Career Day will learn that there are great opportunities in this growing market and industry, an industry that can help clean up the globe while improving the world’s structures.”

As founder of a marine industry management recruitment firm, Career Day presenter Neal Harrell of Brooks Marine Group is among the first people in the industry to see the evidence of hiring trends.

“In 2010, we saw a hot and cold trend in hiring,” says Harrell. “There were spikes of activity, then dips. It was a roller coaster pattern, but nothing consistent. But in the fourth quarter of 2010, we started to see quite an uptick on the hiring front. That has carried over into 2011, and right now, what I see is an all-out war for talent.”

In his talk, Harrell, whose firm is based in Newport, will help attendees understand the landscape of the marine business: the hiring trends, the sectors of the industry that are quickest and slowest to rebound, how demographics are impacting the workforce, and how emerging technology—especially social media—is changing the way companies are hiring. Although hiring activity has picked up dramatically, Harrell cautions that marine companies are hiring smart and carefully; in his talk, he will help job seekers understand how to distinguish themselves in the marketplace.

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