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School helps connect students to jobs in Rhode Island

Posted on April 15, 2012

A New England trade school said it is working hard to connect its students to viable jobs in Rhode Island.

IYRS, a marine trades and technology school based in Rhode Island, is located along the Ocean State’s 400 miles of coastline in the heart of the marine industry and the vast majority of the school’s students have jobs in place at graduation time. This March, the school is helping more individuals learn about marine-industry careers and connect with the region’s leading employers by hosting a Career Day in early March.

IYRS Marine Industry Career Day takes place on Saturday, March 3 at the school’s Newport campus (449 Thames Street, Newport, R.I.). The event runs from 10 AM to 1 PM and is free to the public. In addition to meeting and talking with employers, attendees can hear informative presentations by experts on careers, training opportunities, and the marine industry.

“Career Day is an invaluable opportunity for those already working in the industry as well as individuals considering a career change,” said Wendy Mackie, CEO of the Rhode Island Marine Trades Association (RIMTA) and a featured speaker at the event. “Attendees will get an overview of career tracks and training opportunities and a rare chance to talk with world-renown business owners and industry leaders. The entire day is focused on giving individuals a chance to network, to learn, and to see how they can fit into this important Rhode Island industry.”

Career Day comes to IYRS as the industry is detecting an uptick in hiring. The tide of downsizing experienced during the latest recession is turning, according to recent surveys and business insiders. A survey of RIMTA members revealed that 42% of the respondents plan to hire full-time, part-time and seasonal employees within the next six months.

Neal Harrell, founder of Newport-based Brooks Marine Group, a recruiting firm that specializes in the marine industry, sees this same uptick on a national scale. This January, his firm announced the addition of two new staff members to help manage the rise in recruitment. The sector Harrell sees most growth in is the demand for skilled tradespeople.

“The demand for skilled tradespeople we are seeing right now is due to two things,” says Harrell. “Companies are reloading their workforce after the cutbacks of recent years; we also have a graying workforce, and new talents are needed to take the place of individuals aging out of our industry’s labor pool.”

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