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November 11, 2015

The Maritime Alliance hosted the 7th annual Blue Tech & Blue Economy Summit, November 9–10, 2015 in San Diego. Speakers from a variety of water industries (coastal and ocean observation, marine sanctuary protection, maritime robotics, desalination and clean water technologies) attended the summit and presented on technology and workforce needs.Maritime Alliance logo

Andy Hall, VP & Chief Programs Officer at the San Diego Workforce Partnership, spoke on a panel entitled “Promoting the Blue Economy in the State of California.” Andy points out that talent and competencies differ in the maritime industry or blue economy from other industries. The maritime industry has regional challenges and needs to be solved using regional solutions, such as coordinating customized recruitments for specific hiring needs, and working with youth and teachers to raise awareness of the industry. In addition, there is a need to have sector-specific strategies for talent development for the blue economy, which has a number of white and blue collar jobs.

Other panelists echo the need to educate young people on industry-specific needs and opportunities, including high starting wages in certain occupations and the possibility of exciting careers like commercial diving and maritime robotics.

One of the takeaways is that while our region has the largest cluster of water technology companies in the U.S., there is still much work the state can do on the regional economy.

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