American journalist and writer Walter Lippman said, “Volunteering can be an exciting, growing, enjoyable experience. It is truly gratifying to serve a cause, practice one’s ideals, work with people, solve problems, see benefits and know one had a hand in them.” This type of rewarding experience can be found in many components and opportunities of our own National Precast Concrete Association!
As many long time producer and associate members will tell you, “Get involved: You get out of an organization what you put into it!” So, whether you’re new to the Association or have been a member for many years, there are ample opportunities to volunteer – get involved, get to know other members and really learn all you can about NPCA and its committees, programs and business. Most importantly, you’ll be helping to keep NPCA committees and programs moving forward.
NPCA committees spend time delving into different manufactured precast products, determining member needs, education and training programs, design changes and working on initiatives that are good for our Association, our members and the precast concrete products industry. NPCA task force groups often look at new ideas and opportunities and study how they can fit into our Association and how they may impact our industry. Often, you’ll find that exposure to the hands on work and robust discussion held during committee meetings may also help you to gain insights into how your own business is doing.
We often work in a bubble, surrounded by the same people every day, most of whom are working hard and doing a good job. Involvement with NPCA will get you out of that bubble and expose you to new ideas. The inspiration can come externally from exposure to other committee members or education course instructors. Or it might come internally from looking at things in a new way as you complete the Benchmarking Survey.
In the past several years that I have served in leadership with NPCA, I’ve often heard people say, “Maybe I’ll sign up for a committee, or to be on the Board.” Saying you will and doing it are two different things!
And, your Association needs YOU! Our committees can’t run by themselves, and while staff provides great support, it is our members who really make things happen and are the true movers and shakers that enhance NPCA programs and provide new ideas and opportunities for our industry.
Taking the next step from “saying you’ll do it” to actually doing it is easy. Here are three suggestions:
- Watch for the committee application announcement coming your way this spring and then apply for a spot on a committee. There are lots of options – one is sure to fit your interests.
- Complete the NPCA Benchmarking Survey (link to www.precastsurvey.com) before March 29. You’ll learn a lot about your company and how it compares to the rest of industry in terms of compensation, benefits and sales mix. It’s a valuable forecasting tool, and the 100-plus page report from the survey is free when you participate.
- Take an NPCA education course or enlist employees to take courses. There are webinars, online courses and on-site courses held during the Annual Convention and The Precast Show. You’ll find all the details at precast.org/education.
Give it a try. You’ll be glad you did!
Chairman, National Precast Concrete Association