Marine Fabricator July/August 2022 - 22

STRATEGIC ONBOARDING
AND TRAINING HELP MARINE
FABRICATION SHOPS STAY IN
THE GAME-WHILE PROVIDING
ENTRY-LEVEL SEWERS
VIABLE CAREER PATHS.
by Sigrid Tornquist
SEWERS
t's not easy. Attracting, hiring and keeping sewers
is perhaps one of the most challenging issues facing
marine fabrication shops today. But the good
news is that it is not an insurmountable challenge.
Many people want to put their hands to work and
make something beautiful and functional from available
parts. And for shop owners who want to attract those
people, providing structure, incentives and intentional
training are key to reassuring emerging makers that they
are in good hands-and that they have a future within
the industry.
ABOVE: Antonio, one of SewLong Custom
Covers' youngest team members,
hones his sewing skills on a cinch cover.
Photo: Laura Kinser, Kinser Studios
RIGHT: Esmerelda of SewLong Custom
Covers demonstrates " go and see, "
a technique she uses to observe
and teach. Here Taylor is learning the
intricacies of sewing swim platform covers.
Photo: Laura Kinser, Kinser Studios
22 Marine Fabricator | July/August 2022
The hunt
Most fabricators have tried the usual avenues to source
new sewers: online recruiters, technical schools, local
classified ads, government programs-all with limited
success. And, of course, fabricators have tried the " great
connector " of Facebook, which one might think would
be a viable avenue because it reaches so many people-
but that route has fallen especially flat for some looking
for help. " People who had nothing to do with sewing
would reply to our Facebook ads, " says Terri Madden,
MFC, owner of Sand Sea and Air Interiors in San Juan,
Puerto Rico. " You have to be very careful how to target
your language in order to not waste your time. "
Salt Lake City, Utah-based SewLong Custom
Covers has had a similar experience. " Our experience
with Facebook is that you get a lot of applicants, but
because it's so easy to just click a button, it's the least
effective way to recruit new sewers, " says Clint Halladay,
production manager and lead fabricator at SewLong.
" Other than that, it doesn't seem like one thing works

Marine Fabricator July/August 2022

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Marine Fabricator July/August 2022

Marine Fabricator July/August 2022 - Cover1
Marine Fabricator July/August 2022 - Cover2
Marine Fabricator July/August 2022 - 1
Marine Fabricator July/August 2022 - 2
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Marine Fabricator July/August 2022 - Cover3
Marine Fabricator July/August 2022 - Cover4
Marine Fabricator July/August 2022 - Expo Brochure 1
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Marine Fabricator July/August 2022 - Expo Brochure 6
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