A view Monday from R.J. Marcell Memorial Boat Ramp in Amelia shows industry along Bayou Boeuf. South Louisiana Community College will host a maritime industry job fair from 9 a.m. to noon Wednesday in Morgan City. (The Daily Review/Zachary Fitzgerald)
Over 400 jobs available at maritime job fair
More than 400 maritime industry job openings will be available at a Wednesday job fair in Morgan City as officials see an uptick in the region’s economy.
South Louisiana Community College’s Corporate College will hold a job fair 9 a.m.-noon at SLCC’s Young Memorial Campus, 900 Youngs Road.
Riggers, welders, deckhands, vessel mates or captains, able seamen, fitters, tackers, electricians, engineers and other skilled tradesmen will have an opportunity to meet local companies, an SLCC news release said.
The economic downturn has been a challenge for the region, including St. Mary Parish, during the past few years, so SLCC recognized the crucial need to help match area residents with available maritime industry jobs in the area, said Anthony Baham, SLCC dean for maritime and continuing education.
Part of the problem with finding qualified workers is that the downturn caused maritime industry workers to change careers. The industry has also lost workers due to retirement, Baham said.
Sixteen companies scheduled to have representatives on hand are Central Boats Inc., Kirby Inland Marine, Acadian Contractors, Bollinger Shipyards LLC, Candy Fleet LLC, Laborde Marine, Oceaneering International Inc., Deloach Marine Services LLC, FlexForce Employment Pros., WIOA, Conrad, Thomas-Sea Marine Constructors LLC, GO Marine Services LLC, Associated Terminals and Complete Logistical Services LLC.
James Bennett, a recruiter and sales representative with Complete Logistical Services in Morgan City, said he’s looking for welders, steel fitters, blasters, painters and helpers.
“As many as I can get and find that’s qualified Wednesday, they’ll have a job Thursday,” Bennett said.
Work in the maritime industry from Houma to Lafayette “has picked up so much it’s unreal,” Bennett said. But the biggest issue is finding qualified workers, he said.
St. Mary’s unemployment rate has dropped 1.8 percentage points since the start of 2019, but the parish workforce, the sum of employed residents and those looking for work, has been up and down so far this year.
The most recent parish employment statistics from the Louisiana Workforce Commission showed that April’s jobless rate fell to 4.5 percent from 5.1 percent in March. February’s unemployment rate was 5.7% compared to 6.3% in January.
In April, the parish had 18,644 employed residents, an increase of 13 people from March. However, St. Mary’s workforce of 19,524 residents in April was down 114 people during the same time period. April’s 880 unemployed residents were down 127 people compared to March.
February had 18,668 employed residents and a workforce of 19,799 people. In January, the workforce totaled 19,774 people with 18,527 of them employed.