NW&RA Introduces New Education PlanNW&RA Introduces New Education Plan
June 2, 2014
Leonard “Butch” Joyce
Webster’s Dictionary defines the word “education” as “[t]he action or process of being educated and the knowledge and development resulting from the process.” Every day, each one of us learns something new that helps us develop new skills and enhance our inherent talents.
Learning is important in business. For your employees, developing and learning keeps morale high, increases motivation to do better and fosters a willingness to take on new responsibilities. Increased employee productivity results in higher retention and increased net operating income.
The National Waste & Recycling Association (NW&RA) is your partner in developing your employees and providing you with the tools to help you raise employee morale, retain valuable employees, and increase your bottom line. The NW&RA Education Committee, tasked with identifying needs, establishing standards and setting priorities for education, has approved a multi-year plan that aligns with the Association’s strategic business initiatives. This article provides a brief overview of what that education plan entails.
The educational sessions at WasteExpo were the first priority of the plan. Specifically, members wanted a variety of topics with different formats based on current trends within the industry. The education department accomplished this through speaking directly with members and conducting a member survey. The results of the survey identified five critical topics that our members wanted further education to offer. The topics included recycling/resource recovery, safety, legislative/regulatory, financial/business tools, and leadership development.
Based on the results of the survey, education session topics were identified, developed, and speakers confirmed. New formats at WasteExpo included the addition of two “super sessions”: an “Ask the Expert” session, in which members spoke one-on-one with a leader in the field of business as well as in marketing/social media, and an off-site tour. The results of the education programming at WasteExpo are currently being analyzed; key findings will be shared with the membership in the next few months.
The second priority was to develop on-demand courses that members can access and complete at any time. The NW&RA made an investment in technology that promotes the development of on-demand courses, accessible through the use of a desktop computer or tablet. The first course, Driver’s Safety, is being finalized and will be available to members later this month. This course supports the Driver’s Safety Certification Program. The second course, which is anticipated to roll out in September 2014, will cover the fundamentals of waste management, including terminology, historical perspectives, technical aspects and future trends.
The next priority was to identify topics and speakers for a monthly webinar series. Working with the NW&RA’s Safety, Recycling, and Legislative/Advocacy committees, the Education Committee identified topics and speakers. Since early January, the NW&RA has offered two webinars. The first, “Operation Green Fence,” discussed the impact of the “Green Fence” on the quality of recyclables. The second webinar discussed what businesses need to know from a legislative standpoint as mid-year elections draw near. Future webinars include flow-control updates, fire safety and the economic viability of building and operating anaerobic digestion facilities.
As the education program continues to evolve, member feedback and suggestions are always welcome. If you have a suggestion or an idea for educational opportunities, please contact NW&RA Director of Education Sheila Alkire at [email protected].
Leonard “Butch” Joyce, P.E., is president and CEO of Joyce Engineering and chairs the NW&RA Education Committee.
To learn more about NW&RA’s certification program or to register for the Driver’s Safety course, visit wasterecycling.org/certification. For information about upcoming sessions, visit wasterecycling.org/events/events-calendar. For any other questions, contact Ayana Nickerson, NW&RA’s director of certification programs, at (202) 364-3702 or [email protected].