These maritime-related jobs are somewhat unusual, but it’s hard to imagine how we could live without them.
*By Lori Musser*
Seaport jobs have evolved with time. Tenants, global trade developments, technology, seasons, community needs and the quirks of seaport geography and business influence port tasks. The IT positions that are so important today didn’t exist a few decades ago, and the typing pool that was all-important to a prior generation is now history. Specific to the maritime community, such as at shipbuilding ports, tenants may employ hull divers. Or, at South Florida ports, dredging contractors may employ manatee observers.
Other interesting positions are related to community investment. A port authority’s role in being a good corporate citizen may take on various shapes. In Halifax, for example, the cruise season coincides with the busy season for local tourist development agencies. That means resources can be stretched thin. To be proactive, optimize the landside experience for passengers, and help ensure local businesses enjoy the greatest benefits from the cruise industry, the Halifax Port Authority employs seasonal “visitor services” staff at its terminals.
Sarah Rumley, the port’s brand and marketing manager said, “Providing visitor services dockside is essential to ensuring cruise guests…make the most of their visit.” The visitor services have been provided for almost a decade, and present an opportunity to upsell the region and encourage passengers to return for longer stays in the future.
The Port of Prince Rupert also employs visitor services staff, as part of its strategic outreach. The existence of a massive port like Prince Rupert in a small community presents unique challenges and opportunities. With a population of only 13,000, of whom 48% are indigenous, Prince Rupert has numerous initiatives to create more opportunities for First Nations people, and therefore employs indigenous relations specialists. “It creates more of a future and a hope for First Nations communities to see that there is an opportunity that they could realize with port activities,” said Indigenous Relations Manager Maynard Angus.