DINA M. SIEGEL, CIH, CSP, FAIHA, is semi-retired and is currently a guest scientist at Los Alamos National Laboratory, where she worked for 25 years in a variety of management and contributor roles. Her previous experience included OEHS for federal, contractor, and consultant firms.
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Introducing the EHS Network Subscription
One of my most exciting opportunities as AIHA president is to interact with members in person at local section events. By presenting AIHA updates and talking with attendees, I get to meet amazing OEHS professionals and engage in valuable two-way communication about issues important to the profession. These topics include mutual successes and challenges, how AIHA national can support local sections and student local sections, and now, our new EHS Network Subscription for EHS technicians.
AN UNTAPPED RESOURCE EHS technicians represent a potentially large, untapped source of future OEHS professionals. Many technicians either have no formal post-secondary education or are enrolled in a community college or vocational-technical school, but they have OEHS-related competencies and valuable on-the-job experience. Bringing them into AIHA’s orbit can help us “refill the pipeline” with OEHS professionals and ensure that workers continue to be protected into the future.
Technicians, in turn, would benefit from the resources AIHA offers, which can help them increase their knowledge and grow professionally. In recent years, AIHA has conducted a targeted outreach effort that introduced EHS technicians to our Career Mapping Toolkit and other free resources. The success of that effort has led to the creation of the EHS Network Subscription, which offers access to digital editions of The Synergist and the open forum on Catalyst, our online community, for just under $50.
EHS technicians represent a potentially large, untapped source of future OEHS professionals.
For some technicians, the resources available through the EHS Network Subscription may be all they need to meet their career goals. But we anticipate that some will be motivated by these benefits to become full members of AIHA national, their local section, or both. In this way, the EHS Network Subscription is another tool that local sections can use in their own outreach efforts. Anyone interested in obtaining the subscription can sign up via AIHA's website.
The camaraderie and connection apparent at local section meetings are additional benefits that can appeal to EHS technicians. Welcoming them is an excellent way to help them feel they have a professional “home” at AIHA.
SUSTAINED COMMITMENT AIHA has long had a fruitful partnership with local sections and student sections. Each year, AIHA’s CEO and Board members plan multiple visits to local sections and student sections. AIHA also hosts local section and student section websites and provides resources for speakers, leadership development, and other forms of support. This month, AIHA will hold a “town hall” call on engagement with AIHA’s Local Sections Advisory Group. Local section officers are encouraged to attend.
Through the I Am IH Leadership Challenge, the OEHS Science Careers website, the events conducted as part of the inaugural Worker Health and Safety Month in September, and now the launch of the EHS Network Subscription, AIHA is demonstrating sustained commitment to the future of our profession. But increasing OEHS capacity requires contributions at all levels of our organization. I look forward to working with our local sections to help meet this challenge.