How to Stay Gritty
The fishing industry in Maine is undergoing significant changes, prompting many fishermen to explore new ways of diversifying their income, learning a new trade, or planning their next move. While some may choose to continue fishing, others may opt for alternative sources of income, such as plowing snow or working with a friend on a construction project.
We hear a lot of fishermen say they “only know how to fish” but most fishermen are far more skilled than what they give themselves credit for. Replacing the deck of a boat, repairing an engine, identifying issues on the boat, building a new davit, etc. -- all of these things require skillsets that support fishing but are also transferable to many other trades. (And the trade industries in Maine are desperate for skilled workers.)
There are a lot of resources in Maine that can help fishermen diversify. Below is a list of ways in which fishermen can stay on the water and start to explore other ways in which to stay gritty, too.
Find available positions at Maine JobLink
Maine Career Centers provides a variety of employment and training services at no charge for Maine workers and businesses. Locations include Augusta, Bangor, Brunswick, Calais, Hinckley, Lewiston, Machias, Greater Portland, Presque Isle, Rockland, Springvale, Wilton.
Workforce Solutions offers employment and training programs for job seekers in York, Cumberland, Sagadahoc, Lincoln, Knox, and Waldo Counties.
Associated General Contractors of Maine (AGC) is dedicated to the betterment of our community and state. Besides working for stronger transportation and infrastructure to provide safe means of working and living our members also contribute to their individual towns and cities. AGC is also managing the Maine Construction Academy, dedicated to providing pathways in the Construction and Transportation industries. Learn where and how to apprentice and what careers are available in the industry.
Associated Builders and Contractors of Maine (ABC) offers a certified apprenticeship program encompassing the trades, continuing education, management and safety programs designed to enhance professional development.
Manufactures Association of Maine (MAME) is a non-profit organization comprised of over 200 members in Maine and beyond. They provide Business Development, Member Services, Manufacturing Career Connections (MCC) and Networking and Events.
The Maine Blue Collar Scholarship Foundation is on a mission to remove barriers for motivated individuals pursuing a career in the trades. You can also find a list of helpful resources on the foundation's page HERE.
This resource page will be continuously updated. If you have questions or suggestions for resources to include, please reach out to Monique at email@example.com.
Questions to ask yourself when thinking about your next steps (whatever they may be):
What interests you? What is it that you love about fishing? Being outside, working with your hands, being your own boss?
What are your current skills? Can you repair your own engine? Do you know how to fiberglass, weld, or build?
What kind of personality do you have? Do you like being a leader? Working independently?
What education or training do you need to fulfill your goals?
What's your ideal work-life balance? Do you want to work night shifts? Early in the morning? Weekdays or weekends? Only in the off-season or do you want something the supplements your income year-round?