NORFOLK, VA – Nearly 500 veterans attended a Military2Maritime career fair on Tuesday March 31, 2015 today at the Nauticus Half Moone Cruise Center in Norfolk, Va. The free event, sponsored by the American Maritime Partnership (AMP) and hosted by the Port of Virginia, is part of a nationwide program to help connect the nation’s servicemen and women with jobs in the American maritime industry. Virginia Governor Terence R. McAuliffe, John F. Reinhart, CEO Port of Virginia, and Norfolk, Va. Mayor Paul D. Fraim spoke at the event. Previous Military2Maritime events have been held in Jacksonville, Fla., Houston, Texas and New Orleans, La.
Virginia ranks first among all U.S. states in shipbuilding with 63,650 jobs, far and above any other state. These jobs pump more than $5.5 billion into Virginia’s economy every year. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, more than 550,000 veterans are currently in Virginia’s labor force and the Commonwealth boasts the highest labor force participation rate (68.1 percent) among veterans in the United States. The Norfolk Military2Maritime event will feature more than 60 maritime exhibitors who are looking to help current and former members of the military transition to a career in the domestic maritime industry.
“The U.S. shipyard industrial base in Virginia is vital to America’s national and economic security,” said Governor McAuliffe. “The Commonwealth leads the nation in shipbuilding with more than 63,000 jobs worth more than $5.5 billion, which is why we are so happy to welcome the Military2Maritime program to Norfolk. Connecting Virginia’s veterans with good opportunities in our thriving domestic shipbuilding and maritime industry, which can benefit from their unique skills and training, is a top priority. Veterans can play a central role in our world-class workforce and help our companies grow as part of the new Virginia economy.”
Private U.S. shipyards build, repair, maintain and modernize the largest and most sophisticated Navy and Coast Guard vessels in the world and do the same for the nation’s 40,000 commercial vessels. Recently, the Norfolk Navy Shipyard announced that it was looking to hire another 1,500 workers by the end of September 2015.
“The Port of Virginia is pleased to host the national Military2Maritime program because the region’s maritime industry plays a significant economic role in the Commonwealth’s economy,” said John F. Reinhart. “The Port supports hundreds of thousands of direct and indirect jobs, which account for 9.4 percent of the resident Virginia workforce. We are excited to welcome our veterans to this robust and vibrant maritime sector of the economy.”
Across the country, the domestic maritime industry, supported by the Jones Act, sustains more than 478,000 jobs and has an annual economic impact of $92.5 billion according to a study conducted by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) for the Transportation Institute. The industry also accounts for approximately $29 billion in annual wages and $10 billion in tax revenue each year.
For more information about the Military to Maritime program, email [email protected]