From the Captain's Chair: Moving the Needle Forward
By: Nicole Hoekstra
Date posted: Apr 30, 2019 Tue
I hope all who celebrate Easter or Passover (or in some cases, both) were able to spend time with family and friends enjoying the holidays and likely the last of the cooler weather in South Florida.
In its ongoing partnership with Habitat for Humanity Broward, MIASF broke ground this month on its third home build for a deserving family in our community. As a legacy industry in South Florida, the marine industry plays an important role in the region’s economic health and vitality and it is essential that we continue to find ways to positively impact our local communities. The home will be built as part of the 77-acre Rick Case Habitat Community in Pompano Beach, and MIASF, its board of directors, and the sponsors of this year’s build are looking forward to contributing in a meaningful way and watching this new community come to life.
One of the other ways we impact our communities is by introducing youth to the many exciting and well-paying job opportunities and career paths available in the marine industry. MIASF’s Plywood Regatta, which was held on April 6th and 7th, is an excellent example of how we engage area middle and high schools, clubs, and organizations to teach nearly 300 students a year about the value of the marine industry over a weekend of teamwork, camaraderie, building skills, and fun. I encourage all MIASF members to learn more about this fantastic event and get involved in volunteering and mentoring a team next year.
Most marine business owners are aware of the challenge in finding skilled trades workers and know that they are competing against the construction and aviation industries for the limited workforce that is available. That is why the MIASF Education/Workforce Committee is actively involved in numerous opportunities to grow the workforce and make more and more people aware of the opportunities our industry has to offer. Between the Salty Jobs video
series, the Elevator Pitch Competition, the Career Days, the new apprenticeship and dual enrollment programs, summer intern placements, and the multiple scholarships we award, we are methodically changing the course for our future workforce.
Thank you to everyone who joined us at the U.S. Coast Guard Foundation annual tribute dinner to honor the 7th District. MIASF members came out in force to show their collective appreciation and respect for the safety and security that our Coast Guard members provide on a daily basis. Our ongoing communication is critical to the working relationship we have built with the local and national leadership of the Coast Guard, as it relates to many areas of the industry; most importantly protecting the continued navigability of the New River. Many thanks to those who attended and made a contribution.