ABBRA symposium set for Fort Lauderdale

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The American Boat Builders & Repairers Association will hold its annual symposium Jan. 25 at the Fort Lauderdale Convention Center.

The event will run from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. that day, leading into the International Marina & Boatyard Conference.

The symposium will be preceded by ABBRA’s annual meeting, reception, awards ceremony and CMSM certification on Jan. 24 from 6 to 9 p.m. at the Renaissance Hotel.

The ABBRA said a proficient, technically skilled workforce remains the biggest obstacle to businesses that build, repair and service boats.

ABBRA executive director Pamela Lendzion said in a statement that “admittedly we are not the only industry with a demand for skilled workers and jobs that need to be filled. In this competitive labor market we cannot afford to be complacent and wait for skilled workers to walk through our door. We need to be proactive and work together as business owners and industry leaders to develop career-awareness strategies to attract workers to our industry and training models to up-skill existing workers and to train entry-level workers for a career in the recreational marine industry.”

The ABBRA said its symposium will help business owners design a plan and form partnerships that will help them build the skilled workforce needed for sustainable growth.

It will consist of brainstorming and informational sessions on Leading a Multigenerational Workforce; Finding and Developing Your Future Workforce; On-the-Job Earn and Learn Training Models; How to build a Sector Partnership; and where to obtain funding assistance for technical skills training and up-skilling of your workforce.

The Landing School president Richard Schuhmann will deliver the keynote address.

Speakers include Susan Swanton and Rich Difede, pioneers in workforce development in the recreational marine industry; Michael Corbit, of Career Source Palm Beach County; and Scott Ellsworth, of Jobs for America’s Future.

The ABBRA said Christopher Niles will return with his insights on the current state of the economy and Richard Merlino will present a session on the future of 3-D printing.

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