Help wanted: Job fair at Seattle Boat Show seeks applicants

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With the recreational marine industry in Washington once again experiencing growth, employers looking to fill jobs — and they’ll be on hand at the Seattle Boat Show to do just that.

The Northwest Marine Trade Association (NMTA) is bringing together a group of 20 local marine-related businesses for its first-ever job fair at the boat show. It will be held Monday, Jan. 26 from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. at CenturyLink Event Center (to enter the building, take the stairs between CenturyLink Event Center and CenturyLink Field).

Jobs are available in areas including administration, sales, skilled technician work and mechanical and boatbuilding, and some are for seasonal work. And these are not minimum-wage gigs, either — the average annual salary before benefits for maritime industry workers in Washington state is $70,800, according to the NMTA, more than $20,000 above the state’s average wage.

The recession hit the recreational boating industry particularly hard. There are now just 69 permitted boatyards in Washington state, compared with 107 in 2005. But the industry is finally on the upswing — 2014 was the third consecutive year of increases in the number of new boats sold in the state, and sales in December were up 138 percent in dollar value and 77 percent in units over the same month in 2013.

That means local boatyards, outfitters and other related businesses are busier than they’ve been in years. Many have openings, but are having difficulty finding workers to fill those jobs. Employers understand that skilled workers may not be available for all positions, and some are willing to educate and train new employees.

Skagit Valley College Center of Excellence for Marine Manufacturing and Technology reps will also be at Monday’s event to provide information on educational and training opportunities in the local marine industry.

Job fair attendees will be given a pass to that day’s show, which starts right after the fair closes at 11 a.m.

For a list of companies that will be at the job fair, visit http://www.seattleboatshow.com/job-fair.html

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