Andrew Shaw was WMACSA's official representative to this event.
For immediate release:
Subject: The National Capital Area Joint Safety Association, Young Professionals Networking Event a Huge Success.
In 2010, a grass roots, ad-hoc group was formed when representatives from several local Environmental, Health and Safety (EHS) associations met over dinner to share best practices and challenges facing their organizations. At the end of the meeting it was agreed the groups would continue to meet bi-annually to network, set up joint events, and share resources. The result has been a shared calendar that informs a broad audience of professional development opportunities and joint events that bring individuals from varied EHS programs together.
While the value of this partnership was obvious to the member groups, the one goal that eluded the joint association was an outreach program targeting students and young professionals, providing them the opportunity to learn about the various EHS fields and connect with mentors. On July 15, 2015 an event was held that marked significant progress toward this goal.
On June 8th, Amanda Archer, a new employee at MedImmune and an experienced EHS professional, contacted Bruce Donato, chair of the Joint Safety Association group, with the idea to arrange an event specifically tailored for students and interns, giving them a chance to meet EHS professionals, learn what the EHS profession is about, and garner advice on what they should be doing now to help advance their careers. With Amanda offering her place of employment as a venue, and Bruce providing logistical support and access to a wide-spread communication network to publicize the event and solicit volunteers, they were able to coordinate a very successful networking event for young professionals in just five weeks.
On July 15th, over 30 students, interns, and young professionals met to discuss careers paths with approximately 20 EHS professionals. The evening began with a meal and general networking designed to foster interaction. Then the nine member organizations provided brief introductions to their associations, and two guest speakers, vice presidents from Lockheed Martin and MedImmune; Tricia Haederle and Eric Knight, shared their paths to a successful EHS career with the group.
Finally, time was allotted for more formalized networking, with volunteer EHS professionals grouped by specialty: biosafety, construction safety, hazardous materials, general safety, industrial hygiene, occupational nursing, and radiation safety. The EHS professionals provided maps of their personal career paths and discussed their unique experiences. The young professionals were able to move from group to group to ask questions and learn more about each profession that interested them. A common theme discussed throughout the evening was the fact that many EHS careers follow a wandering path, and that all opportunities for development should greeted with enthusiasm.
The evening was a huge success, with positive feedback received from both the students involved and the EHS professionals that volunteered their time. Plans are already being formalized to improve and offer this event next year.
The National Capital Area Joint Safety Associations Group is comprised of the following organizations:
Alliance of Hazardous Materials Professionals National Capital Chapter (AHMP-NCC) www.nccahmp.org