PROJECT CONNECT held its New Year’sMembersluncheon themed “Let’s Win the Year”on January 31stat the Piraeus Maritime Clubto celebratereceiving the “Achievement in Education or Training Award” from Lloyd’s List Greek Shipping Awards 2022, and to acknowledge appreciation for thevaluable contributions and sustained supportprovided by its 65 members, founders, and educators.
PROJECT CONNECT founder, Ms. Irene Notias, stressed that”hard work pays off”. Her mindset was also echoed by Mr. Nikos Efthimiadis of Lotus Shipping, foundingmember and luncheon sponsor. The other sponsors were Grace Trading, Phoenix Shipping & Trading, and Steel Ships.
Tribute for their consistent & valuable contribution, was given to first members Mr. Yannis Xylas, Mr. George Gourdomichalis, Mr. Alexandros Glykas, PROJECT CONNECT Chairman Mr. Nikolaos Tsalamanios,Capt. Dimitrios Mattheou, in addition to, Honorary Chairman Mr. George Tsavliris for introducing the idea of Adopt a Ship. All were presented with unique commemorative sculptures of vessels made by the late artist, EVA DIVARI.
PROJECT CONNECT, established in 2015,is a NPO that supports young professionals in-the-making to jump-start their careers in the shipping industry. With more than 70 successful work-placements, PROJECT CONNECT is a net contributor to helping Greece’s next generation workforce; all thanks to the support of its members –reputable shipping and maritime companies.
The goal is to increase the number of available internships, andentry-level opportunities to selected and screened candidates,using Greece’s first Shipping HR Hub for young people, a well-organized ONLINE CV PLATFORMby PROJECT CONNECT.
Dr. Adamantia Spanaka, Philologist and Professor, Advisor at the Hellenic Open University and Official Educator’s Advisor of PROJECT CONNECT, presented the progress of the ADOPT-a-SHIP. The Cypriot educational program was brought to Greece by PROJECT CONNECT in January 2019 and has already succeeded in bringing maritime knowledge into Greek elementary, Jr High & Vocationalschools, nationwide. More than10,000 pupils have already benefited from this program. Classrooms communicate via e-mail with Captains across the globe on their adopted ship; theylearn about geography, trade& commerce, cargo, operations, weather, Greek Shipping history and its impact, English language writing skills, teamwork, empathy, and gain personal insights from life at sea. They also get to consider a future profession in the maritime industry. The numbers speak for themselves:
A videotapedcongratulatory message was delivered by Ms. Niki Kerameos, Minister of Education and Religious Affairs. Shedescribed the program as “a hub that connects more and more students with our long-standing maritime tradition through experiential learning.”It was during her tenure as Minister that ADOPT-a-SHIP has flourished and grown throughout Greece. She will soon be presented with a commemorative steel sculpture – by Eva Divari – the bow of a shipsymbolizing she is at the forefront of maritime education in the Greek school system.
The luncheon’s honorary guest was Mrs. Eugenia Manolidou, Head of Greek Education Studies at the School of Ancient Greek, History and Philosophy. Among many supportive comments, she stressed the importance of seafaring in the consciousness of the Greeks since ancient times and how this can – and should – be promoted to future generations of Greek students.
The 3D VIRTUAL SHIPPING COMPANY TOUR followed. This video, scripted and executed by PROJECT CONNECT, offers a unique insight into a Greek shipping company, including departmentalnarrations, explanations of respective positions and overviews of roles with their day-to-day activities. Mr. Nikos Tsalamanios, Co-CEO of Seaven Group and Chairman of PROJECT CONNECT, sponsored the project:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ix4ulO9d9d4
The ONLINE CV PLATFORM already contains 95 prospective students and graduates of maritime studies and marine academies seeking placement. They have taken a gamified psychometric (soft skills)test (by Owiwi)and companies are invited to inspect available candidates and offer them placements.
These accomplishments benefit the youth of today and strengthen the shipping industry of tomorrow. Ms. Notias presented 2023’s targets &plans for future: (1) Doublethe membership, (2)Increase internships & entry level job placements, (3)Continue ADOPT-A-SHIPgrowthto 200 vessels, and (4) to successfully kick-start a series of sponsoredinternships “IN MEMORY OF”passed shipping personalities and their inspiring role.
PROJECT CONNECT is an initiative of hope which actively promotes change and competitiveness for a better future for Greek youth, Greek shipping, and Greece.
Members, institutions that attended: Antonios & Ioannis Angelicoussis Foundation. Alassia Newships Management. Ariston Navigation Corp. Bernhard Schulte Shipmanagement (Hellas). Capital Executive Ship Management. Chandris (Hellas). Chronos Shipping. Costamare Shipping. Cyprus Sea Lines. D. Koronakis. Danaos Shipping. Diana Shipping Services. Dynamarine. Elnavi Shipping Magazine. Empire Chemical Tankers. Empire Navigation. Eurobulk. GAC Shipping. GANMAR Shipping. Jeanne D’ Arc. Load Line Marine. Lotus Shipping. Marchand Navigation. Marine Tours. maritimes.gr. Metropolitan College. MyPhilo. Oceanbulk Maritime. Phoenix Shipping Trading. Polforce Shipping. Queensway Navigation. Seanergy Maritime Holdings. Seaven Group. Sevenseas Investment Funds.Shipowners Claims Bureau. Sing Fuels. Starbulk. SteelShips. Technomar Shipping. The American P&I Club. The Swedish Club of Piraeus.
Amongst honored guests:Mrs. Katerina Potamianou,PROJECT CONNECT Ambassador. Mr. Evangelos Angelakos (Angelakos). Mr. George Xiradakis (XRTC). Mr. George Alexandratos(Hellenic Chamber of Shipping).And last but not least, Mr. Nigel Lowry (Lloyd’s List, Director/Hostof Lloyd’s List Greek Shipping Awards, Founder/Director of Greek Shipping Hall of Fame).