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|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 21, 2011
For more information please contact:
Nancy Stephens, CAE, DPL
Ratzenberger to Keynote 8th Annual Florida Manufacturing Summit
Conference to Focus on Solving the Growing Skills Gap: Can Florida Manufacturers Find the Talent to Compete?
TALLAHASSEE, FL – Actor-turned–manufacturing-champion John Ratzenberger will keynote the 8th Annual Manufacturing Summit and Marketplace, the Manufacturers Association of Florida announced today. The conference, which will be held at the Hyatt Orlando Airport Hotel on November 30 – December 1, 2011, will focus on the growing skills gap between the labor needs of Florida manufacturers and the available workforce.
“This year’s conference focuses on one of the most pressing issues confronting Florida manufacturers: Does manufacturing have the talent it needs to compete in the global marketplace? And, if not, what can be done to address the shortage of skilled workers,” said Nancy Stephens, executive director of the Manufacturers Association of Florida (MAF).
Stephens announced that actor John Ratzenberger will be the keynote speaker, while Governor Scott will close the day with remarks about the role manufacturing plays in Florida’s economy. Also making an appearance at the Summit are State Senator Jeremy Ring and State Representative Lake Ray, sponsors of an economic development bill supported by manufacturers for 2012.
Actor John Ratzenberger, best known for his portrayal of Cliff Clavin on Cheers and as host of the Travel Channel’s John Ratzenberger’s Made in America, will deliver the keynote address on Thursday. Ratzenberger has become an ardent champion of vocational training to meet the workforce needs of American manufacturers. He serves on the board of the Center for America and has testified before Congress on America’s manufacturing challenges.
The event will devote two sessions to the issue of workforce training and education. On Wednesday the summit will open with a panel discussion entitled Educating and Certifying Florida’s Manufacturing Workforce that will chart a course for expanding manufacturing education and training in Florida. On Thursday the conference will conclude with a session entitled We’ve Got the Jobs – Where are the Certified and Qualified Workers? Featured panelists include Emily Stover DeRocco, president of The Manufacturing Institute at the National Association of Manufacturers and former U.S. Assistant Secretary of Labor for Employment and Training.
The Summit will conclude on Thursday with an awards dinner honoring Florida’s manufacturers of the year.
For more information including the Summit agenda, visit the MAF event Web page.