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GSSC's 2018 Fall Meeting focused on strategies and best practice models for attracting the 21st Century workforce. A keynote focusing calling for an overhaul of the nation's workforce system and sessions centered around attracting and retaining talent, particularly from underrepresented groups,  were featured.

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GSSC's 2018 Fall Meeting didn't disappoint!  The Hyatt Centric French Quarter in New Orleans was the site for this year's meeting, which was scheduled November 1-2.  Interesting keynotes, informative sessions, and practical workshops offering takeaways centered around the meeting theme--The 21st Century Workforce:  Recruiting and Retaining Talent.  Plenty of networking opportunities rounded out the two-day event.


Thursday's Activities


GSSC's Board of Directors met on Thursday morning, prior to the meeting kickoff.













Dr. Tim Taylor, department chair from the University of Kentucky and Eddie Clayton, Director of Workforce Development at the Southern Company delivered the opening keynote, Restoring the Dignity of Work:  Transforming the Workforce Development System into a World LeaderThe presentation was a call for the overhaul of the country's workforce system to address the critical shortage of skilled craft professionals and an outline of the path forward to ensure a pool of technically skilled workers are available to meet the needs of industry.

In the Creating Effective Industry and Education Pathways session--presented by Brad Kibbe, director of Apprenticeship, Florida Masonry Apprenticeship and Education Foundation--attendees learned how industry and education are partnering to implement industry-based training that leads to industry-recognized credentials and provides multiple paths to gainful employment in high-demand career fields.

Brad Kibbie

Bria Sativa Aguayo, Becoming a Welder, Inc., shared her experiences and challenges faced with her decision to become a welder and offered strategies for encouraging women to enter the skilled trades in the The Women in the Trades: An Untapped Resource session.


Though timely, but unrelated to the meeting theme, Thomas Woodford, counsel, Phelps Dunbar LLC, provided attendees with best practices strategies to ensure compliance with DOL and IRS regulations in The Per Diems: How to Keep the Feds Off Your Back session.

In Connecting Industry to Education, Danielle Bierney, Director of Workforce Development at the Pelican Chapter ABC shared two successful partnership models connecting industry to secondary education--the Louisiana Course Choice program and Partners Signing Day.


Not just keynotes and sessions, attendees enjoyed a pleasant walk to a local eatery for plenty for networking and fellowship and the opportunity to visit with exhibitors during the Exhibitor Expo.

Friday's Sessions

Attendees left the Social Recruitment in the Modern Labor Market session, which was presented by Sam Angermeirer of HKA Enterprises, with best practices and takeaways to use social media platforms to effectively recruit and engage today's workers.


In Reimagining Reentry, an innovative, nationally recognized program sponsored by HOPE for Prisoners, Stacy Burrell, Trainer, introduced attendees to a holistic approach to help individuals adjust to life after prison. The innovative program includes unique partnerships with employers and local law enforcement and provides support for ex-offenders to help them succeed as they reconnect with their families and enter the workforce and the community.

Cassie Scher, Communications Associate with Nahigian Strategies introduced the group to a virtual job portal that helps veterans and active military find jobs in the maritime industry in her session, Military to Maritime: Connecting American Heroes to Maritime Careers


The luncheon keynote by Dr. Kristine Strickland, Fletcher Technical Community College, The Key to Unlocking the Future Workforce, focused on the power of partnerships between industry and the community college as it relates to building a talent pipeline for the future and the role that each partner plays.

Give Credit Where Credit's Due:  NCCER Hard Hat Heroes, John Havlik, NCCER, showcased the NCCER Hard Hat Heroes initiative, which awards NCCER credentials to veterans for the training they received in the military.


Influencing the Talent Pipeline:  Employer and Education Alignment to Impact Career Awareness and Opportunities, Victoria Hunt, Manager of the Shipbuilder Academy at Ingalls Shipbuilding discussed the steps her company is using to align the industry with education partners in an effort to build a pipeline of future craft professionals.

Special Thanks to our Sponsors!

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GSSC's 2019 Annual Conference Save the D
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