Nearly fifty exhibitors and 400 students attended the Eastport Yacht Club Foundation’s 6th Annual Marine and Maritime Career Fair at Annapolis High School last month. Open to students from grades 6-12, the fair’s goal is to raise awareness of marine and maritime careers to ensure a robust future for the workforce. Quantum’s National Service Manager Charlie Saville attended the event to introduce kids to the world of sailmaking.
“The career fair introduced kids to different companies in the maritime industry, but it also introduced them to different career paths,” said Saville. “I talked about how Quantum isn’t just sailmaking. We have IT professionals in the company who to go college and become code writers, we have engineers who help us figure out how to build sails, we have a finance department – it’s not just cutting and sewing. We talked a little about sails, and specifically about the different things students could, would, and should study to get into this career.”
Saville handled a lot of questions throughout the day, especially about the technology behind sailmaking. “I had some of the newer, high-tech film-on-film racing sails with me. Most of the questions centered around the technology of it – what goes into sailmaking and how do we leverage technology to build a better sail.”
He said one of the highlights of the day was seeing kids realize that they don’t have to be champion racers to have a career in the sailmaking industry. “If they have a strong background in math, but are slow on the water, kids might not think they could be a sailmaker. You don’t have to be a super-fast racer to do this. The marine fair helped incite interest in those kids who might have thought they couldn’t do it.”
Quantum had the privilege of being the only sailmaker at this year’s event, and Saville said he’d like to go again next year to educate more kids about opportunities in the industry. “Whether they grow up to work for Quantum or become a marine electrician, it was neat to see so many kids and young adults who were considering careers in the marine industry.”