The maritime industry has found itself with an increased need for workers in recent years. To create more visibility and accessibility, RiverWorks Discovery and local maritime companies participated in Junior Achievement New Orleans and YouthForce Nola’s 2023 Career Expo. On March 9th, a group of Associated Terminals and Turn Services team members joined other industry professionals, presenting to over 3,000 high school students outside the Lakeshore Arena at the University of New Orleans.  

The need for mariners and logistics professionals does not only affect maritime companies’ operations but can also have a much larger impact nationally. The maritime industry is a vital facet for trade and a major driving force of the U.S. economy. Further, the maritime industry contributes around $30 Billion to the GDP.   

The Mississippi River is an outstanding resource for the economy in Louisiana with one in five jobs being connected to the maritime industry according to the Louisiana Association of Business and Industry.  Maritime employees make a collective $3.5 billion annually in income in the state. Louisiana is the only state to generate over $10 billion related to maritime operations. Louisiana has been the number one state in the maritime industry for the past decade, contributing 20% of the U.S. total tons of cargo.   

These aspects all fuel Turn Services’ mission to share the importance of maritime industries and to educate the youth about the opportunities that are available to them. We believe the best way to do so is to start locally.  

Industry professionals worked with students throughout the day to get them excited to learn about working the river. “Who wants to make $50,000 dollars a year?” shouts Captain Kenny Brown with Maritime Throwdown. Students perked up and shot their hands up in the air in attention. After Kenny explained what $50,000 a year could mean in financial support, the kids’ hands flew up even faster when he asked how they felt about making $150,000 just five years out of high school. He shared his personal experience working with the river, explaining he started working on the river when he was 26, and was making “well over six figures by the time I was 30.”   

The team proceeded to explain all the various parts of the world products come from, and the port’s importance to the city of New Orleans—the production of a chocolate chip cookie being their prime example.  

Lloyd Trosclair, our training specialist at Turn Services, proceeded to explain how important safety is in maritime operations. The kids then were enlivened by the chance to watch the watermelon man they had named get smashed by a baseball hat to show them the importance of helmet wearing.   

Lloyd then gave his speech, sharing that he joined the industry nine years ago with zero knowledge on the matter. “Turn Services taught me from the ground up about this industry, and looking back on it,” he says, “really they taught me how to be the man I am today.”  

“I learned everything I know from Turn Services,” says Lloyd, “and now I’ve gone through safety training so I can bestow this experience and knowledge onto the new hires and young kids such as you all,” he says.   

As part of Associated Terminals and Turn Services commitment to the education of our youth, our team has participated in other Riverworks Discovery events in conjunction with the Port of South Louisiana, the St. Bernard Port, Terminal and Harbor District and The Port of New Orleans to reach students from seven parishes that are located along the Mississippi River. 

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