It’s no secret that the marine industry worldwide is struggling to find enough skilled employees to meet its workforce development needs.
Case in point: The Hampton Roads area of Virginia hosted a Shipbuilders Day Job Fair on August 12 with multiple employers onsite to fill over 5,000 full-time positions in the maritime, shipbuilding, and ship repair industries. Companies are partnering with community colleges and high schools to introduce maritime career opportunities and training to a broader and more diverse audience. An aging workforce ready to retire, competition for workers across all technical fields, and need for new skills is pushing the maritime community to the edge.
SNAME Maritime Convention “SMC 2022” is addressing this issue head-on. Scheduled for September 26-29 in Houston, SMC 2022 is a heady mix of technical sessions, current topical panels, professional education, and industry networking.
As a starting point, SNAME actively encourages its 40 student sections to participate. Nearly one-third of the registered attendees are marine engineering and naval architecture students from the major university programs in the U.S., Canada, Europe, Asia, South and Central America. In addition to rubbing elbows during technical sessions and social events, the Society has created deliberate interaction points for potential employers and upcoming graduates.
The Maritime Job Fair on September 29 is a straightforward hiring event. More than two dozen companies set up shop to recruit and interview onsite. The event encourages students and jobseekers at all levels to browse the available opportunities across a wide range of technical fields.
The Student – Young Professional – Industry Roundtable is a speed dating-like rotation for 15 company representatives to show their stuff in 15-minute bursts. A longtime favorite with students and young professionals who are exploring a range of possible careers, this event showcases the breadth of the maritime industry in cozy, 6-8 person groups. If a potential career clicks, the companies and jobseekers can quickly trade contacts and schedule interviews.
There is a focused panel session entitled “Hiring Engineers – Tips from Hiring Managers to Help You Get That Job!” Senior Engineering and Human Resources executives from major shipbuilding, engineering and design, classification society, and technical staffing firms discuss and interact with the audience on current best practices for hiring and interviewing, from the employer and applicant viewpoints.
The SNAME Expo is a multi-day offering of informational exhibits by marine-related companies. The site for coffee and camaraderie is set up to be deliberately informal. New friendships and professional connections thrive and old acquaintances are renewed.
SNAME also builds relationships with a select group of “Corporate Affiliates.” These companies engage at a deeper level with the Society’s members, sponsoring technical events and webinars, posting prime job opportunities on the SNAME Careers site, advertising specific products and activities targeted to SNAME member needs.
For less structured professional engagements, there is a Women in Engineering networking breakfast, a President’s Welcome Reception, technical breakfasts, lunch breaks, and the Awards Banquet with its gala reception and after-parties.
And, on the fun end of the spectrum, there is the Student Design Competition and the Footy Race. Student groups are challenged to design, build, compete, and race their “craft” with often-hilarious results, cheered on by their friends and professional colleagues. At the tail end of SMC, SNAME hosts its annual SNAME Cup Regatta, where serious sailors and wannabees alike race their sailboats for fame and glory.
The Society of Naval Architects and Marine Engineers is an internationally recognized non-profit, professional society of individual members serving the maritime and offshore industries and their suppliers. For many, SNAME has been absolutely essential to career development and success in the industry. With 5,000 members around the world in 95 countries, SNAME is THE International Community for Maritime and Ocean Professionals!
The mission of the Society is to advance the art, science and practice of naval architecture, marine engineering, ocean engineering and other marine-related professions through:
- the global exchange of knowledge and ideas relative to the marine industry
- education in engineering as it relates to the marine industry
- encouraging and sponsoring research and development in naval architecture, marine engineering, ocean engineering and other marine fields.
For more information about the 2022 SNAME Maritime Convention, please visit www.SNAMEConvention.com