SHIPS FROM THE PAST / CAREERS FOR THE FUTURE
Most restoration work at Northwest Seaport is done as a class or workshop, teaching the traditional skills of woodworking, rigging, engine repair and other maritime trades. The Seaport’s workforce development programs engage people in real career development options or because their just curious about working on ships regularly.
Teaching is also central to preservation. Northwest Seaport is dedicated to the preservation and interpretation of maritime heritage in this region and strives to preserve both its historic vessels as well as the knowledge and skills to maintain them.
Boatwright in Residence Program. For example, Christine Jacobson arrived from the Northwest School of Wooden Boatbuilding in Port Hadlock and was the fall 2012 hire under this program run jointly between Northwest Seaport and The Center for Wooden Boats (CWB). The program provides young professional boatwrights a 10-week position working on small craft at CWB and on Northwest Seaport’s big 120ft tugboat, Arthur Foss. Some of Northwest Seaport’s vocational training is done through this program. In 2014 Christine has been working at Port Townsend Rigging.
Archaeologist in Residence. Saxon Bisbee participated in this Seaport professional training program in 2013. This program provides young professionals a rare hands on opportunity to apply their training on a large vessel. Saxon is an East Carolina University Program in Maritime Studies graduate (2012). Read about his work on lightship No. 83 “Swiftsure.”
Job Skills and Work Exchange. This program supports both the participant and vessels. Participants typically include students, high-volume volunteers, AmeriCorps members and staff requiring housing. Program participants learn from direct exposure to vessel operations and from providing visitor services. Staying aboard Arthur Foss creates a sense of shipboard camaraderie among program participants who often continue social contact with their program peers. NOTE: the Jobs Skills & Work Exchange Program is not a vessel rental program.
Veteran shipwright Brian Johnson of Ocean Bay Marine is Jacobson’s professional mentor in this program.
His 40 years as a west coast shipwright enables him to give her training and work experience not available elsewhere. For someone just starting out in the field, it is a precious opportunity to learn from an extremely experienced shipwright and to work on a vessel of unusually heavy construction. Read about Brian Johnson’s efforts aboard ARTHUR FOSS.