It is not often in life that actions you take today can truly affect the future for others. Attracting quality people to our profession is an area that assures the vitality and success of our industry now and for many years into the future. When we originally discussed the concepts of student initiatives they were focused on how could we as professionals support attraction of the right numbers and quality of young people to our profession.
It was clear that when we linked up student with professionals – good things happen. Professionals share their experiences and help build networks of future recruits. Students begin to see the “real world” of our profession, how they can make a difference in the world through their careers and begin to establish relationships that can last a lifetime. Our Annual Meetings provided a forum for this exchange but we had not created a conduit for student to participate (it cost money to travel, it is scary to drop into an event dominated by a bunch of older people and it seemed as though they – students – did not fit in). We have changed all of that in this past decade. Within ITE District 6, in the west, have created the forums for student/professional exchanges now – but we have not fully funded the methods to get students to our meetings
The generosity of our sponsors and members has allowed us to advance this program that we now know is proven to bring creative, young talent into our profession. Now is the time to assure the funding of concepts that attract quality young people to our profession, allowing them to network, building future relationships and invest in our industry’s future. The Endowment Fund is that mechanism. When fully funded it will be the tool that our industry can use to attract students to our profession and engage them with the industry in meaningful ways. Please join me in supporting the goal of raising our endowment to $500,000 this decade.