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Marine technician discussion set for dealer conference

Marine service expert Valerie Ziebron will lead a panel discussion on solutions to the current shortage of marine technicians.

In a special session preceding the 2015 Marine Dealer Conference & Expo’s opening keynote address, marine service expert Valerie Ziebron will lead a panel discussion on solutions to the current shortage of marine technicians.

The one-hour session is part of the Marine Retailers Association of the Americas’ annual meeting, which will start at 4 p.m. on Nov. 16 and is open to all MDCE attendees.

"The technician shortage is having a serious impact on dealers’ growth and the industry’s recovery from the recession,” MRAA vice president Liz Walz said in a statement.

The MDCE is scheduled for Nov. 15-18 at the Orange County Convention Center, Rosen Plaza Hotel and Rosen Centre Hotel in Orlando, Fla. The MRAA produces the annual event in partnership with Boating Industry.

"This panel discussion will focus on what can be done to fill open positions and improve the skill sets of the next generation of technicians,” Walz said.

The panel will be composed of marine dealers, manufacturers and trade school representatives. Attendees will walk away with five key things they can do to become a part of the solution.

"If sales sells the first boat, and service sells the next one, then a shortage of technicians is a real problem,” said Ziebron, of Yamaha Marine University and VRZ Consulting. "This conversation will identify solutions marine businesses and schools can put into place to ensure this shortage doesn’t become a crisis.”

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