March 3, 2014
By Joe Maniscalco
Hollywood, FL – International delegates, fund managers, trustees and others eager to take advantage of the exciting networking opportunities and support that the National Labor & Management Conference has offered for close to 40 years now – once again convened at the Westin Diplomat Resort and Spa from February 14-18.
Some 360 attendees from across the country, including the delegates from at least 16 different international presidents, braved foul weather and flight delays to make this year's event.
Edwin D. Hill, international president of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, kicked off a wide ranging slate of presentations and panels with an engaging discussion about the significance of immigration reform.
In addition, the four-day event also tackled a spate of other high-priority issues including implementation of the Affordable Healthcare Act, income inequality, minimum wage, coast savings, investment trends and more.
Participants commenting on what they found most valuable about their experience at this year's conference said things like,
“Getting up to speed on H&W/Pension and infrastructure investing.”
“The intersection with other unions – [and seeing the] same problems everywhere.”
"[Getting] a clear focus on each issue presented – rather than a hodgepodge of lots of vendors disagreeing with each other."
Organizers of the annual National Labor & Management Conference say they are keen to maintain close relationships with attendees, and consistently gauge their problems and concerns. The results have been steadily expanding conferences that continually manage to highlight those issues most germane to today's changing labor market.
"We tap into our audience and ask them, 'What do you want to hear about?'" says Barbara McCabe, conference director. "What's important to you this year? What's your most pressing issue? That's really what drives the program."
The roots of the annual National Labor & Management Conference stretches back some 38 years when Lou Levine, Labor Commissioner under three New York State governors from 1966 to 1976, had a vision for the conference.
Since then, the conference has transformed and grown significantly, while the labor community has become much more interconnected then it had been prior. And organizers say they are determined to build on the concept.
"Attendees make relationships at the meeting which allow them to pick up the phone when they need help and to get answers," McCabe added. "We hear from a lot of people that networking is so valuable. Our goal is to provide more meaningful outreach and even more interaction."
Next year's event is already scheduled for February 14-19. Visit www.laborandmanagement.org to find out more.