Transforming Communities: Impact Stories from the Regatta

We’re thrilled when we can share stories about how our collective efforts are shaping our community. Your support for the regatta becomes grants for our community partners, enabling them to undertake meaningful work that enhances the waterfront. This includes efforts to build a skilled, trained workforce. To shed light on this initiative, our friend and founding member of the Regatta Foundation, Joe Fuller, has filed this report on the Harbor Corps program at Soundwaters.
Building a Career on Long Island Sound

SoundWaters has been teaching science and sailing for over 30 years so we have always known that Long Island Sound is a great source of education and recreation. Over that time, we have also come to recognize that the Sound is also a tremendous source of employment. We created Harbor Corps in 2023 to connect the young people in our community to those jobs.
Between commercial fishing, tugboats, barges, and dredgers, not to mention all the clubs, marinas, and boat yards that dot the shoreline, over 75,000 well-paying “family-raising” jobs on Long Island Sound drive $10 billion in annual economic activity. Young people with little connection to the Sound would have no idea these jobs exist and lack the skills to fill them. At the same time, marine trade employers cannot fill their entry-level positions. Harbor Corps seeks to fill that void.

Harbor Corps members, all high school graduates, train daily for four months in the Brewer Family Workshop at the Cohen SoundWaters Harbor Center on Stamford Harbor, learning how to use every tool and machine in the workshop. We run three Harbor Corps cohorts each year. Working on small boats and engines, they gain the technical skills in carpentry, fiberglass, welding, and engine repair that they will need to succeed in entry-level positions in the marine trades. At the same time, they build life skills in personal finance, job search, leadership, and teamwork that they will need to succeed in life. When they graduate from Harbor Corps, young people are equipped to interview for jobs, confident in their skills, and motivated to build successful careers.
You can learn more about Harbor Corps, and the other great programs at Soundwaters here: