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Those seeking well-paying jobs with industry partners of Port Manatee are to be given an opportunity to operate a heavy equipment simulator and participate in on-site interviews at an Oct. 14 career event.

PALMETTO, Florida – Port Manatee and many of its industry partners are looking to fill more than 100 well-paying positions through a free, hands-on career fair to be held Thursday, Oct. 14, at the Bradenton Area Convention Center in Palmetto.

The first-time collaborative event, being held in conjunction with CareerSource Suncoast, with support of Manatee Technical College, is to feature on-site interviews, as well as the opportunity to literally be “put in the seat” with a heavy equipment simulator demonstrating what it feels like to operate a broad spectrum of machinery, from yard tractors to the cranes used to lift cargo on and off oceangoing vessels.

“As Port Manatee and companies with operations at and near the seaport continue unprecedented growth, we are joining together in offering opportunities for rewarding careers in a wide range of jobs essential to keeping the supply chain flowing swiftly and efficiently through Central and Southwest Florida’s preferred gateway for global commerce,” said Carlos Buqueras, Port Manatee’s executive director.  

From welders and mechanics to clerks and production technicians, from truck drivers to crane and forklift operators, Port Manatee industry partners are looking to fill positions paying as much as $32 an hour while providing extensive benefits. Applicants with all levels of experience, including trainees, are being sought.

Companies slated to take part in the career fair include terminal operators Carver Maritime Manatee, Federal Marine Terminals Inc., Kinder Morgan Port Manatee and Logistec USA Inc.; Air Products and Chemicals Inc., which fabricates massive liquefied natural gas heat exchangers at its plant across U.S. 41 from the seaport; building materials leader Ash Grove Cement Co.; Fresh Del Monte Produce Inc., which imports fruits through its on-port distribution center; and Port Manatee-based containerized cargo carrier World Direct Shipping, provider of the fastest short-sea link between Mexico and the U.S. Southeast. Also, Port Manatee is looking to augment the seaport’s security contingent.

The event is set for Thursday, Oct. 14, from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. at the Bradenton Area Convention Center, 1 Haben Blvd., Palmetto. Pre-registration – at https://careersourcesuncoast.com/port-manatee-career-fair/ – is encouraged but not required.

“Port Manatee and our private industry stakeholders look forward to conveniently offering scores of career opportunities all in one place on one day,” said Reggie Bellamy, chairman of the Manatee County Port Authority. “For anyone interested in highly rewarding work, this is a must-participate event that could well be the first step in pursuing a bright future.”

Located “Where Tampa Bay Meets the Gulf of Mexico,” Port Manatee is the closest U.S. deepwater seaport to the expanded Panama Canal, with 10 40-foot-draft berths serving container, bulk, breakbulk, heavylift, project and general cargo customers. The self-sustaining port generates more than $3.9 billion in annual economic impacts while providing for more than 27,000 direct and indirect jobs, all without benefit of local property tax support.

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By Manatee Herald

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