MIASF video series promotes various marine industry jobs

A new video series produced by the Marine Industries Association of South Florida promises to give outsiders a real-life, up-close perspective of jobs in the world of boating.

Called “Salty Jobs,” the educational series aims to showcase marine career opportunities throughout South Florida.

Sean Smith, MIASF’s director of membership, is hosting the series using a unique approach similar in some ways but more inviting (and much cleaner) than the popular Discovery Channel show Dirty Jobs.

“It’s an idea that came from realizing that a lot of people don’t know about the marine industry and how many jobs and careers the industry offers,” Smith said.

To showcase the vast amount of opportunities for students at local schools, workforce agencies and the general public via the organization’s website and YouTube, Smith puts himself into certain work situations that illustrate specific jobs.

Meanwhile, viewers are secondarily exposed to closely related and peripheral careers.

In the first episode, which was looped during the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show in November and now available on YouTube (at www.youtube.com/c/MarineIndustriesAssociationofSouthFlorida) Smith learns how to replace head gaskets on an MTU V4,000 engine from RPM Diesel Engine Company’s seasoned marine industry veterans.

“Before that, the only experience I had with any engine was helping change the oil in my car,” Smith said.

The next video will feature Smith aboard a tow boat, perhaps helping to salvage a boat wreck or rescue boaters in need. He had no preconceived ideas about how his one-day job experience would unfold, but he knows it would not be boring.

“We’re going to see the reality of what its like to go to work on a tow boat. That’s the reality — I never know what I’m going to be doing next. It’s very exciting,” Smith said.

The organization, in cooperation with Media Lab of Fort Lauderdale, is currently in the process of creating a production plan in order to produce an inventory of Salty Jobs episodes.

Phil Purcell, MIASF CEO and executive director, said the area marine industry is in most need right now of electricians, welders, carpenters and other skilled workers. He said trade workers and professionals currently in non-marine industries are perfectly able to transfer their skills because any industry can re-imagine itself.

“The necessary tools are aptitude, attitude, and a willingness to learn and be continuously challenged,” Purcell said.

MIASF hopes to inspire talented and passionate workers to join the marine workforce in order to continue the more than 100-year legacy of the industry in South Florida. The association itself has more than 500 members in Broward, Miami-Dade and Palm Beach counties, and it is the owner of the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show.

“From [the legacy] a permanent hub and infrastructure was created that has evolved and become modernized. Boats went from being made of wood to steel, and then fiberglass. And with that, came new needs, including HVAC/Refrigeration, remote controls, electronics, gadgets — all driven by the tech industry,” Purcell said.