Information about our Oregon maritime sector comes from a 2017 study of the industry. Maritime employed about 19,000 people statewide in 2017; about 3,000 jobs are in Northwest Oregon.

Oregon NW Workforce Partnerships in Maritime Industry

We’ve had great success in advancing public-private partnerships that expand the reach of our workforce system, with the development of the INSEAM program (through Oregon Aero) and a maritime welding apprenticeship program. In addition, we work closely with local Chambers of Commerce and other employer associations to create further partnership opportunities.

NOW has pioneered bold initiatives focused on results for some of our key industries. For example, we championed the development of a maritime welding program. We stood up a sewing course in Scappoose to support advanced textile manufacturing.

Expected Growth in Oregon’s Maritime Workforce

The maritime sector is expected to grow 5% from 2017 to 2027 and provide about 7,000 total occupational openings statewide. The average wage for those occupations covered by unemployment insurance was $60,853 in 2017. The highest wages were in the transportation, fishing, and wholesale industries. For example, the median wage in 2018 for captains and mates was $40 per hour, and for sailors, it was nearly $28 per hour. Fishermen, or fishers, made about $65,000 annually.

Oregon’s maritime industry is projected to have about 6,600 replacement openings between 2017 and 2027. The jobs with the most employment in the maritime sector include fishers and related fishing workers, meat, poultry, and fish cutters and trimmers, forklift operators, welders, structural metal fabricators, cargo and freight agents, mobile heavy equipment mechanics, sailors, and marine oilers, laborers and freight, stock, and material movers, tank car, truck, and ship loaders. Of those top 10 jobs with the most employment, 70% require only a high school diploma. In contrast, 30% require postsecondary training (non-degree) to compete in the labor market.

Prioritizing Maritime Job Industry Support

To support the mission of the WTDB, Oregon Workforce continues to prioritize support for key industry sectors and occupational clusters that exist in our local area in high concentrations and are projected to experience growth. These sectors include healthcare, manufacturing, maritime, and leisure and hospitality. While leisure and hospitality have not been a central focus of sector work in the past, this has significantly shifted due to the impacts of COVID-19 on this industry—which is essential to our coastal economy.

Career Services for the Maritime Industry

When a customer can benefit from training, an ITA may be used to access training related to in-demand industries such as healthcare, maritime, or manufacturing. Equus staff is familiar with and aware of targeted industries. Provider staff works closely with local community colleges and businesses in these sectors to develop and pursue training for customers relevant to local employers in these industries. The board of directors had prioritized investments in the development and support of training programs and strategies directly related to these sectors.

Equus provides career services that involve workshops, labor market information and job search assistance, support services, career, and financial assessments, work readiness activities, and the National Career Readiness Certificate. Training and education are funded, and NOW emphasizes training in high-demand sectors. Our responsiveness to the needs of healthcare, manufacturing, and maritime industries is great strength in our local area.