ATLANTA (March 27, 2018) – Last month, the Society for Maintenance & Reliability Professionals (SMRP) held its fourth annual Capitol Hill fly-in on February 28, 2018, drawing national leaders in maintenance, reliability and physical asset management to Washington, D.C., to advocate for federal programs, policies and funding measures that address issues of critical importance to the profession, including workforce development, cybersecurity and workplace safety. The fly-in included an expert industry-diverse panel on career and technical education and meetings with Congressional and federal administration and agency offices.
SMRP’s members met with more than 11 congressional offices across the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate to discuss the importance of reliability and resiliency within the sectors of critical infrastructure (smart grid), cybersecurity, workforce development, and workplace safety. Specifically, participants advocated for Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi’s (D-IL) legislation, the Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century Act, which would reauthorize and modernize the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education (CTE) Act.
SMRP also met with the U.S. Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) and the White House Education Advisor’s office to discuss issues relating to workforce safety and development, particularly as they relate to worker education.
“This year, we were able to build upon existing relationships and educate Congress, federal agencies and the Administration on opportunities that will allow our members’ industries to thrive,” said Devin Sears, SMRP’s Government Relations Director. “Workforce development was a main focus this year, especially with the need for the Carl D. Perkins CTE Act to be reauthorized. This topic affects all sectors – from cybersecurity, to workforce safety, to protecting our grid system – and we wanted Washington, D.C., to understand the importance of apprenticeships and mentorships within our industry.”
In addition, SMRP held a special CTE report panel briefing on Capitol Hill with the sponsorship of Reps. Cheri Bustos (D-IL) and Brian Babin (R-TX), and the participation of featured speakers from the National Skills Coalition, Advance CTE, American Institute of Research, and NACE International.
"Industry experts are critical to the CTE experience, providing internships, mentorships, and meaningful work-based learning experiences that prepare learners for the real world,” said Kimberly Green, Executive Director of Advance CTE. “However, it takes the entire CTE community to make this happen - industry partners, education leaders and associations such as SMRP all play an important role in ensuring alignment between the classroom and the workplace.”
SMRP continues to work actively with Congress and the federal government to ease the ongoing challenges that the maintenance and reliability profession faces: from the skills gap and grey wave to cybersecurity and critical infrastructure development. For more information on SMRP’s government relations program, visit www.smrp.org/Government-Relations.
The Society for Maintenance & Reliability Professionals (SMRP) is a nonprofit professional society formed by practitioners to advance the maintenance, reliability and physical asset management profession. SMRP’s membership consists of more than 6,000 individuals, practitioners, companies and students around the world. SMRP is committed to sustaining best practices and developing leaders in the profession by offering educational resources, world-class certifications and knowledge-sharing opportunities for members. For more information, visit www.smrp.org.