IYRS, a Rhode Island marine trades and technology school, will partner with Maine businesses Front Street Shipyard and the Kenway Corporation to run two open houses on careers and training opportunities in the composites industry. A method of building pioneered by boat builders that has a high strength-to-weight ratio, composites construction is used today by many industries — including marine, transportation, wind energy, aerospace and others. According to the latest tallies from the American Composites Manufacturers Association, in the U.S. alone the composites industry employs 550,000 people and generates $70 billion in revenues per year.

On Thursday, August 2, school representatives from IYRS will join the staff at Front Street Shipyard (101 Front Street, Belfast, Maine) for a Composites Career Open House that runs from 12 to 3 p.m. On Friday, August 3, IYRS and the Kenway Corporation (681 Riverside Drive, Augusta, Maine) will run a second open house from 12 to 3 p.m. Both events are valuable opportunities for career seekers to see two Maine composites leaders in operation and learn about career opportunities in the field.

“Composites construction has a wide range of application in today’s industry — and many individuals may not realize that there are a wealth of career opportunities for those with the right level of interest, aptitude and skill,” said Clark Poston of IYRS. “Our goal for these open houses is to help more individuals learn about the industry and the best ways to gain entrée into the field.”

Poston, director of student and industry relations at IYRS, will be at each event to talk about the school’s Composites Technology training program and career opportunities in the field. The six-month IYRS program, based in Rhode Island, launched in 2010 and is the first of its kind in the rapidly growing composites field — due to its in-depth curriculum and its emphasis on teaching both hands-on skills as well as the theory behind the technology. The program runs twice a year, with the next session beginning this September.

Representatives from Front Street Shipyard and the Kenway Corporation will also give open house attendees an inside look at their operations and the kind of work produced at their respective facilities. Front Street Shipyard is a leading yacht yard that does new construction and refit work on yachts ranging from classics built in wood to designs built from advanced composites. The Kenway Corporation specializes in custom composite manufacturing and field service for industries ranging from marine to coal-fired power, pulp and paper, transportation and renewable energy.

Founded in 1993, IYRS offers three full-time programs from its two Rhode Island campuses in Newport and Bristol. The school has a twenty-month Boatbuilding and Restoration program, a six-month Marine Systems Program, and a six-month Composites Technology program. The IYRS programs are tailored to meet the skills needs in their respective industries; the average job-placement rate for IYRS graduates is in the 80th percentile.

For more information about the Composites Career Open Houses, contact IYRS Director of Admissions Ned Jones (401-848-5777, ext. 203 / njones@iyrs.org). To learn more about the school and its programs, visit www.iyrs.org.