Crowley Marine Services will hold its first job fair for veterans on Thursday to help fill the maritime industry’s dire need for employees.
An estimated one-third of Crowley’s employees are former military members, according to the company’s Aaron Gowin. Crowley and other maritime companies are losing employees to retirement and hope to bring in more military hands.
The “Military to Mariner" job fair will run 12:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. Wednesday, April 24 at Crowley Marine Services on 1102 S.W. Massachusetts Street in Seattle.
The transition from the military to this industry can be seamless, but it does take time, Gowin said.
There are a lot of similarities as service members bring experience, discipline and leadership that fit well with the maritime industry.
Gowin served in the U.S. Coast Guard before becoming a business analyst for Crowley.
For those thinking about making the transition, Tim Davis, a Crowley port engineer who served in the U.S. Coast guard for 28 years, has a few tips.
Davis advises service members who are still in the military to work on getting their merchant mariners documents and licenses. They should also get their sea-time signed off and letters of recommendation written ahead of time, just in case their boss gets deployed.
"I think some of the best things they can do to help themselves are really show their resume. Spell it out so that the civilian world understands what it means. A lot of times you're doing very similar jobs but the titles are very different,” said Caitlin Ness, a former Navy member who now works as a naval architect for Crowley.
UPDATE: As of Monday, April 22, the event has been filled. Organizers are compiling a waiting list and are looking to schedule another event in the future. To get on the waiting list, email Aaron Gowin at firstname.lastname@example.org.