February 2013

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February 2013

News From David Grindle, USITT Executive Director

Presenting...Learning Opportunities


We all know that is the key to maintaining skills and growing in our careers.  Some people use terms like staff development or continuing education, but in the end it is training. Each of us, in a quasi- Randian model, is responsible for our own growth as professionals. Whether we're just starting in the industry or contemplating the mythical land of retirement, we must stay sharp on our skills and on the advances in the industry.

Elite Training in Las Vegas is just one of the ways to enhance learning. USITT is expanding those opportunities offered to members and those in related fields.

Photo/Rochelle Wolfe

For many people, the Conference each year is part of their "training" regimen. But for many it can't be. Travel costs, production schedules, or (heaven forbid!) a personal life, don't allow for participation. So why be a member of the Institute? "If I can't go to the Conference, I don't get anything for my membership." I've heard it countless times. Now we are working to be sure there are many different reasons to belong.

In January, we announced USITT Presents, one- and two-day training sessions that are product-specific and meant to give you new skills or reinforce the ones you have. These are not "student focused" unless you realize we are all students. These are aimed at reaching all segments of our industry to give people the opportunity to learn. By putting sessions at different places around the nation, we are bringing training closer to you. The price of USITT Presents is low, so cost is not a barrier to growing skills.

Add this to the Annual Costume Symposium, Elite Training, section events, and other programs, and we are quickly seen as a year-round learning organization. That opportunity to learn and grow throughout the year is vital to your personal strength as an entertainment professional and to the corporate strength of the Institute. Our role as an Institute is to advance learning opportunities for our members. Based on member feedback, that's what these programs are designed to do -- provide an extremely cost-effective way to invest in yourself.

That brings us back to the members. Participation is key to the success of any activity. We need our members to take advantage of the programming throughout the year.

"What if we throw a party and no one comes?" is always in the forefront of people's minds when they step forward to create these opportunities. Bit by bit we are removing the barriers to training by bringing it closer to home, reducing the cost, and offering the latest technologies. All this has been done. Now it is up to the membership.

Take advantage of these opportunities and register now for a session which best fits your needs.

Many times before I've noted that membership is an active, not passive, activity. Take the reins of your own career, no matter the stage, and participate in training events. In the coming year, there will be opportunities for everyone, but that is as far as we can take it. You, the member, must take the active role of registering and learning. When we do that, we have an active and vibrant membership that people want to be a part of.

Your Institute is growing and changing in response to your feedback. Now is the time to take advantage and participate in all USITT has to offer.

Check the "Conference & Events" tab at USITT.org for all of the learning opportunities to come.

David Grindle

We'd like to hear your comments on this story.
Please e-mail David at david@office.usitt.org.
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