July 2014

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June 2014

News From David Grindle, USITT Executive Director

Responses Show Strong Institute, Areas to Improve

Remember that member survey that was sent out in February?  Well, the members spoke, and you have told us what is important to you.  Honestly, I wasn’t surprised by any of the data.  If anything, I was elated at the affirmation of what I have heard anecdotally from the membership since long before I took the position of Executive Director.

The active membership falls in to four types of “needs” in how they use USITT.  Those groups can actually track a person’s career and life span in the Institute.  Our students and older members seek the personal contacts the Institute offers.  Our corporations seek to connect to buyers, and those mid-career folks seek information in one group and career connections in another.  The survey affirms that the things people value the most are the connections USITT brings.

So, what do we need to work on?  What aren’t we providing?  We can get connections in many places, but to add value, we need to provide other things. Members freely offered their opinions on that.

The members want an Institute that is up-to-date.  They want the latest technologies being taught and access to information on those technologies.  The Conference needs more high level programming and interaction with the thought leaders of today.  That’s the theme that kept coming back.  Don’t lose the sessions for entry level people, but don’t ignore the mid-career and advanced folks.

Keep offering classes around the country and provide more things online.  That came next.  Not only do you want higher level, you want access. We are working to bring more on-demand learning to you, and you will see a difference in the coming months.

Keep the focus on safety.  “Changing technology is changing the safety requirements of our industry,” noted one of the respondents.  We must continue to be a resource for learning opportunities and materials on safety.  The new partnership between OSHA, IATSE, and USITT is a step in making that happen.  But more are in the works.

Our members’ feedback resulted in over 180 pages of data once it was distilled by the research firm.  While we’ve heard this information before, the research firm was able to share with us priorities based on member feedback.  They commented on the candor and honesty of our members (another thing that didn’t surprise us).  That honesty and willingness to comment resulted in hard data that helps us make your organization a better one based on your needs.

The changes you want (be they change or increased focus) are coming.  The leadership at all levels are discussing this information and acting on it because we, as an organization, exist to serve the needs of the membership.

Thank you for helping us make a great organization better.  Have a great summer, and I look forward to working to bring more of the value you ask for to an already valuable Institute.