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GSSC's 2016 Annual Conference convened in Ocean Springs.   featured a broad lineup of keynotes and speakers focused on workforce trends, best practice state and local models, and reports on the state of the industry from state and national leaders.

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GSSC’s 2016 Annual Meeting, held April 13 and 14, 2016, in Ocean Spring, MS, was a great success!  This was the second time we gathered at the Gulf Hills Resort. This intimate venue provided many opportunities for interaction and conversations between members. 


The GSSC Board of Directors met on the morning of the 13th.  The general meeting kicked off with lunch and an excellent Keynote speech by nationally known comic and speaker, Kenn Kington, Owner of Kenn Productions, Inc.  Kenn’s message, 4 Critical Decisions of the Successful, really set the tone the rest of our meeting.  Using humor and personal stories, Kenn shared the four common traits of highly successful people and organizations.

Following Kenn on Wednesday were: 

  • Bryan Carter, President of P2 Publishers and Think Webstore on
    Rapid Marketing Evolution and Finding Your Audience

  • Owen Doherty, Associate Administrator of MARAD on
    Supporting US Shipyards: The Role of the Maritime Administration (MARAD) and

  • John Havlik, Senior Workforce Development Manager with NCCER on
    Formalizing a Workforce Development Strategy 

On Thursday we had:

  • Tim Alford, Special Assistant to the Chancellor of the Alabama Community College System (ACCS) started us off with a message about the 1:2:7 Imperative: ACCS's Plan for the Gulf Coast  concerning the future makeup of the workforce,

  • Tim Johnson, Executive Director of the National Maritime Education Council (NMEC), who discussed the New Standard for Maritime Craft Professionals: An NMEC Update.

  • Edmond Hughes, Vice President, Human Resources & Administration at Ingalls Shipbuilding delivered our final Key Note, Workforce Development: Impacting the Talent Pipeline.

The final session, led by Jeff Allman, Strategic Planner at Ingalls Shipbuilding, had each of the leaders from the GSSC strategic plan working groups report to the general meeting the work their groups have done and their plans for the future.

The GSSC Navigator of the Year award was presented to Ryan Lee, Workforce Development Manager with Austal, USA.

The meeting featured good food, great conversations, informative presentations and a few door prizes. The meeting  adjourned at 2:30 p.m., April 14. Thanks for helping make this meeting such a success!

Special Thanks to our Sponsors!

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