Fellow NACAT Members,
As I sit down to write, Spring Break is upon us and graduation is only seven weeks away. For me, the spring term seems to fly by faster every year. I hope that like me, you have had a productive school year and you feel like you have made a difference in the students’ lives. That feeling is my motivation in the classroom and shop every day. As I look forward to watching our students cross the stage and receive their diplomas, my attention begins to turn toward summer and the annual NACAT Conference.
Macomb Community College will serve as host for the 2017 conference. The faculty and staff have been hard at work for over a year preparing for our arrival. The college has a fantastic facility and they host groups like ours regularly. They have an exciting week planned. There will be great presenters, a fantastic trade show, and the sights and sounds of the motor city will be a few miles away.
The Board and Officers continue to work to refine NACAT and make it more valuable to the members. Although not all changes are visible, I can assure you that NACAT is a much stronger, more viable organization than it was two years ago. I challenge each and every one of you to reach out and share the NACAT story with someone who does not know about our organization. This will allow our organization to continue to grow and serve the instructor needs.
As many of you may remember, I have been involved in the national effort to resolve the growing technician shortage in the country. I recently spoke to a chapter of ASA Chicago. I asked, by a show of hands, who knew who their local high school and community college instructors were. Only a few hands went up, and even fewer hands went up when I asked who was involved in the local automotive program. When asked if they would be willing to be a part of a local advisory board, nearly 100% of the hands went into the air. This group realizes that their future is sitting in our classrooms today. Moving forward, we have an awesome responsibility to recruit and train the young people who will be successful in the automotive industry. I challenge each of you to reach out to your industry partners and ask them to be a part of these efforts. Ask them to do more than attend an advisory board meeting; get them involved in your program. Together, we can make an incredible impact on this important issue.
I will close by inviting everyone to join us in Warren, Michigan July 17-20 at Macomb Community College for NACAT 2017. Make your plans now; registration is open. We will be in the backyard of the Detroit Three automakers which should create some unique opportunities for the delegates and their families. You can find more information by visiting the conference website at www.nacatconference.org.
Have a great end to the spring semester,