Companies are hiring. I know, I know, that’s not what you’ve been experiencing.

Layoffs have been one of the saddest parts of this dismal down cycle in the oil and gas industry. It’s easy to say that layoffs are a part of the industry’s cyclical nature, but it's not so easy to deal with if you’re one of the thousands who have lost their jobs. The numbers are staggering and the carnage is not over. That’s the larger view.

When you condense it down, though, the most important job is the one you need. That’s where WorkBoat can help — specifically, the WorkBoat Maintenance & Repair Conference & Expo at the Morial Convention Center in New Orleans next week (April 12-14). As part of the show, there will be a job fair and job advice center open from 10 a.m. until 12:30 p.m. on Wednesday, April 13. Currently, almost 200 open positions in the commercial marine industry will be listed at the job fair, with more being added every day. These are not possible openings. These are real jobs that need to be filled for vessel personnel, office personnel, shipyard workers and more.

What kinds of jobs? Second Engineer, Third Assistant Engineer MPSV, Third Assistant Engineer OSV, Able Bodied Seaman (AB), Crane Operator, Deckhands, Deckhands with MMC, Deckineer, Electrical Engineer, Electrical Engineer (Houma or BSL), Electrician, Engineering Intern, Engineering Manager Trainee, Engineers (All Disciplines), Engineers, Electrical, Technician, Software, Equipment Operator, First Assistant Engineer, First/Chief Mate, Fitter/Welder, Generator Technicians (Houma), Heavy Equipment Operator, Marine Designers (All Disciplines), Marine Electricians (Houma), Marine Mechanics, Master of Towing, Captains, Mechanic, Mechanical Engineer, Naval Architects, Pipefitters, Planner/Schedulers, Product Design & Applications Engineer, Qualified Member of the Engine Department (QMED), Rig Mechanic, Safety Professionals, Second Assistant Engineer, Second Mate, Site Safety and Health Officer, Senior Drafter/Designer 4, Supervisory Diesel Mechanic, Tugboat Engineers, and Welders

So, on Wednesday morning, get out of your pajamas, splash some water on your face and get down to the Convention Center. Good luck …

Ken Hocke has been the senior editor of WorkBoat since 1999. He was the associate editor of WorkBoat from 1997 to 1999. Prior to that, he was the editor of the Daily Shipping Guide, a transportation daily in New Orleans. He has written for other publications including The Times-Picayune. He graduated from Louisiana State University with an arts and sciences degree, with a concentration in English, in 1978.