NFPA Well Positioned for Growth and Impact
by Jim Kaas, President, IFP Motion Solutions, Inc.
The NFPA Board of Directors convened in Massachusetts in June 2022 to review NFPA’s performance over the past fiscal year and to make strategic decisions for moving the association forward into the future.
As Chair of the NFPA Board for 2022-23, it was my honor to lead a number of these discussions. The past fiscal year saw a number of successes across the association’s four high-level strategic objectives for strengthening the fluid power industry and we set the groundwork for a number of exciting projects moving forward.
Through Effective Forum, we seek to bring our members together in ways that allow them to find new business opportunities and advance their collective interests. This past year saw an increase in overall membership, with many members returning to the in-person networking and education events that we held throughout the year. Especially noteworthy was the record-breaking Annual Conference in February 2022, and our on-going series of smaller Quarterly Conferences, where we are engaging with OEMs and related technology partners to better explore the technology trends that are impacting all of our businesses. Expect more of this success in our upcoming 2022-23 fiscal year, including the launch of a new technology roadmapping process with a special emphasis on electrification.
Through Industry Statistics, we provide members with market data and intelligence to help improve their business decision making. NFPA really stepped-up its game in the past year, with many of our programs getting a refresh, making them easier to access and to utilize for key business intelligence. In the upcoming year we plan to expand our program offerings, including the launch of a new, user-friendly dashboard that will allow members to gain quick and actionable information from across our entire portfolio of programs.
Through Promote Fluid Power, we provide our members with opportunities and resources to promote themselves and their technology. With more than 70 episodes and 19,000 downloads to date, the Fluid Power Forum podcast has seen significant growth over the past year, spreading the word about key advances in our industry. We also launched a new education program strategy targeting trade shows in key customer markets, further pushing fluid power content to a targeted customer audience. Next year most of our focus will be on IFPE, which is already on pace to exceed expectations for both the quality and quantity of trade show attendees.
Through Educated Workforce, we are increasing the number of fluid power-educated students and connecting them to careers in the industry. We do this primarily through our Fast Track to Fluid Power and University Power Partner programs. We receive ongoing support, investment and involvement from our members through the Pascal Giving Society. The board has asked over the past year to accelerate these successful programs and the staff has delivered. We ended this fiscal year with 3 Fast Track Hubs and 3 Power Partner Universities up and running and are making the plans and investments necessary to scale these key programs to 12 locations over the next several years.
Moving forward into this fiscal year, we plan to accelerate the scaling of our workforce development programs. This will happen through pursuing growth in existing programs as well as the introduction of new programs that supplement and expand our existing offering by targeting new and underserved communities and better connecting students to member companies through internship support.
Our Board is excited by the many opportunities that lie ahead in the coming year, both for NFPA and the fluid power industry as a whole. Many thanks to my fellow Board members for the help they provide in shaping our organization’s and industry’s future. I’m looking forward to working with the Board, staff, and NFPA members to continue growing our organization. I am open to questions and comments as we continue to forge ahead and bring enhanced value to members. I can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
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