MOBILE, Ala. (WALA) - Dozens of job seekers attended a career fair at the AIDT Maritime Training Center in Mobile, Wednesday, Jan. 16.
Local welding and construction companies are looking to hire skilled workers in Mobile. It is an industry experts said will soon be in high demand.
"With an aging workforce, baby boomers; 76 million of them retiring in the next 18 years. Someone has got to replace those folks," said AIDT Project Coordinator Tony Hopper.
The career fair gave both skilled and unskilled workers an opportunity to speak with industry representatives from maritime and construction businesses in Alabama and the Gulf Coast that are seeking qualified employees.
Potential employers represented during the career fair include Performance Contractors Inc., Signal International, BAE Systems, C&G Boat Works Inc., Horizon Shipbuilding, Austal, VT Halter Marine, G.A. West & Co. and Ingalls Shipbuilding.
"Possibly 6,000 jobs with the folks here today looking for skilled workers for the next two years," said Hopper.
Dwight Maddox was one of the job seekers interested in welding.
"Whenever an opportunity comes up, I am always looking to make some improvements. Get a better position, better pay," said Maddox.
Maddox has worked in customer service before and thinks a career a welding might be a better fit.
"Steel never complains no matter how much you heat it up. If you do something wrong, you can always go back and smooth it over," said Maddox.
The American Welding Society Skills Competition Committee Worlds Skills Competition Vice Chair Nick Peterson said almost anyone with good eye-hand coordination and willing to learn can succeed in welding.
"There is nothing to be afraid of. Welding isn't as big and scary as people think it can be done very safely and very efficiently and you just got to give it a try," said Peterson.
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