COMITT selects kick-off speaker

EDGEWATER, Md., CHICAGO and BROOKLIN, Maine - Dr. David DeLong, workforce development expert and a former senior editor of MotorBoat magazine has been selected as the “kick-off” keynote speaker for the 2006 Conference on Marine Industry Technical Training, COMITT organizers reported in a recent release.

Skip Burdon, president of the American Boat & Yacht Council - which co-produces COMITT with the National Marine Manufacturers Association and Professional BoatBuilder magazine - said the addition of DeLong to the roster of speakers will help round out the agenda of what will be an important conference.

“As we begin a new year, we cannot ignore the fact that even if we could find enough younger technicians and managers to replace those retiring or leaving our industry there is sometimes no way to replace or even substitute for, the experience of those leaving, the knowledge of how things get done, or their relationships - both personal and professional,” Burdon said. “We are confident that the combination of our previously scheduled speakers, and Dr. DeLong as our keynote speaker, will lead to two informative, motivating and productive days.”

“We know that Dr. DeLong will not only set the tone for this year's conference, but empower attendees to analyze their own organizational situations and get involved in the effort to attract, recruit and retain a highly proficient and effective workforce,” Carl Cramer, publisher of PBB and co-Director of IBEX said.

DeLong is president of David DeLong & Associates, a consulting firm based in Concord, Mass. that specializes in knowledge retention and workforce development solutions. He is the author of the book Lost Knowledge: Confronting the Threat of an Aging Workforce and has spent four years researching the problem of changing workforce demographics.

He is a research fellow at MIT's AgeLab and an adjunct professor at Babson College where he teaches an MBA course on “Leading and Managing Change.”

“The COMITT '06 co-producers are thrilled to have Dr. DeLong kick-off this year's COMITT,” NMMA president Thom Dammrich said. “He is a dynamic speaker who will lend much insight into how the marine industry can retain critical knowledge and build future workforce capabilities.”

COMITT 2006 is scheduled to be held Jan. 23 - 24 in Safety Harbor, Fla., just outside of Tampa. Registration is being accepted through January 16. Visit and click on the COMITT logo, or by contacting the ABYC Education Department at (410) 956-1050 to register.

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