Sun Sentinel: Marine industry a vital part of South Florida economy, life June 17, 2015

Phil Purcell

The resurgence of South Florida’s marine industry is not only due to the geographic superiority of this region, but also our talent pool of quality craftspeople.

In order to remain competitive with other emerging popular marine destinations, we must continue to engage our community and inform them of the career opportunities in our industry. As the largest trade organization in the Southeast, the Marine Industries Association of South Florida is dedicated to protecting and growing the 110,000 jobs in Broward County and 136,000 jobs in the tri-county region.

Those 136,000 people are an integral part of the local community. We buy houses and cars, shop at the local grocery and department stores, go to the doctor or dentist, take out loans from local banks, enroll our kids in school and daycare and hire local plumbers or roofers. The people who make up our industry are some of the brightest, most talented and hardest-working people in our community.

Because of our geographical location, we are the pier for North America – South Florida offers easy access to Latin America, Chicago, New York, Cuba and the Caribbean. Our region also has a thriving oceanographic research hub with Florida Atlantic University, Nova Southeastern University, Florida International University and the University of Miami. The research being done by these universities puts our region on par with Silicon Valley or North Carolina’s Research Triangle.

Please accept this as a personal invitation to learn more about our industry at the annual Marine Industry Day on Saturday, June 20th at Esplanade Park in Fort Lauderdale. You will be able to see firsthand how marine businesses generate in excess of $8.8 billion in Broward County and $11.5 billion regionally every year. And if you’re interested in a new career, consider the possibilities within our industry.

Marine Industry Day will feature live bands including rising country star Amber Leigh, Brass Evolution and Curbstone, several popular food trucks and more than 25 children’s activities, groundbreaking research exhibits and educational games. So join us by foot, bike, water taxi or boat. There is no cost to attend, and more information may be found at We hope to see you there.

Phil Purcell is the executive director of the Marine Industries Association of South Florida, a nonprofit based in Fort Lauderdale. Learn more at

© MIASF 2016 | All rights reserved | Photo credit: Scott Pearson Photography

Marine Industries Association of South Florida. 2312 S. Andrews Avenue, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33316. Phone: 954.524.2733