Tide’s Out: A Training Program for the Next Generation of the Aquaculture Workforce

Shellfish aquaculture is central to rural coastal communities, but many companies have struggled in recent years to recruit and retain a steady workforce to sustain the industry. 

In response, Washington Sea Grant created Tide’s Out, a FREE two-part training program for the next generation of the aquaculture industry workforce. Starting in mid-April, the program will launch with a FREE 4-week Manager Leadership Course and a FREE Crew Training Course will be offered in 2025. Both courses will include resources to support English language learners.  

The Manager Leadership Course aims to equip employers with tools for recruiting and retaining a next-generation aquaculture workforce. 

The Crew Training Course is designed to provide the skills for being a successful farmhand.

Manager Leadership Course

The Manager Leadership Course is designed to equip current and aspiring managers with the resources and skills to retain a diverse next-generation workforce.

Each workshop will include guest speakers, engaging and solutions-oriented discussions, and resources gathered from local partners, state programs and maritime industry experts on several relevant topics:

  • Housing and transportation challenges
  • Employee physical and mental health
  • Employee recruitment and retention
  • Managing and mentoring diverse employees
  • Youth engagement and career-connected learning

Course schedule:

  • April 18 from 2 – 7 p.m. (South Bend)
  • April 22 from 2 – 6:30 p.m. (Hoquiam)
  • May 2 from 2 – 6:30 p.m. (South Bend)
  • May 6 from 2 – 7 p.m. (Hoquiam)


Any current or aspiring manager interested in learning best practices for recruiting and retaining a diverse next-generation workforce is welcome to attend!

Please contact Ashleigh Epps (aepps6@uw.edu, 206-543-3674) with any questions.

Registration will close on April 10.

Crew Training Course (coming in 2025)

The Crew Training Course will provide workers with the skills and knowledge necessary to be successful shellfish industry employees.

Course topics:

  • Shellfish aquaculture in Washington
  • Basic first aid and maritime safety
  • Shellfish biology, culture and harvesting 
  • Seafood safety and processing
  • Water quality and invasive species
  • Working environment and workplace etiquette

Anyone interested in learning more about the shellfish aquaculture industry is welcome to attend. No prior experience necessary! 

For more information please contact Ashleigh Epps (aepps6@uw.edu, 206-543-3674).