National Program Helps Veterans Transition to New Jobs in the American Maritime Industry
The Port of Houston played host to more than 400 veteran’s and over 50 organizations as part of a maritime career fair aimed at attracting U.S. veterans.
The event, which was called the Military2Maritime Career Fair and sponsored by the American Maritime Partnership, is part of a national program to help connect the nation’s servicemen and women with jobs in the American maritime industry. The domestic maritime industry’s goal is to provide the more than 720,000 servicemen and women out of work with an opportunity to maximize their professional strengths and skill sets.
“We believe the maritime industry is an especially good fit for our nation’s veterans,” said Matt Woodruff with Houston’s Kirby Corporation. “American maritime needs the talent and expertise that current and former members of the armed forces have as the industry continues to experience steady growth. The best part about the Military2Maritime program, for many of the positions available in the industry, no prior maritime experience is necessary.”
Participants at the career fair, more than 400 according to the AMP, had the opportunity to meet with recruiters and HR staff from more than fifty organizations, as well as representatives from maritime unions and schools. The event also had seminars on marine licensing and transition, provided vessel tours, and allowed attendees to visit with crew members and industry personnel who are veterans and made the transition to the maritime industry.
“There are many aspects of the maritime industry that relate to duties and responsibilities inside the military, which is why so many of our colleagues are veterans,” said Mike Russo, United States Marine Corps veteran and Port Agent, Port of Houston. “One of the biggest challenges is learning how to apply skills learned during our service to workplaces outside the military. For many veterans, life on the outside can feel overwhelming, especially when it comes to looking for a new job. This is why the Military2Maritime program is so important.”