NFPA Board Meets; Advances Effective Forum and Educated Workforce Objectives

NFPA Well Positioned for Growth and Impact
by Eric Lanke, NFPA President/CEO

Back in June, our then-new Board chair, Jim Kaas, wrote about the discussions held at the Board’s annual strategic retreat, and many of the strategic initiatives the Board is helping NFPA move forward in service of NFPA members:

Now it’s October, and the NFPA Board has reconvened for its first meeting of the fiscal year in order to review our progress on those strategic initiatives and to lend extra support as needed. As Jim described back in June, a large emphasis has been placed on our programs within our Effective Forum and Educated Workforce strategic initiatives. Highlights of our progress in those spaces include:

  • Targeted Growth. The NFPA membership is growing, and already represents the vast majority of the fluid power manufacturing and distribution market. Targeted prospects have been identified to ensure the continuation of this essential forum, and Board members are engaging in drawing those additional stakeholders into our membership.
  • Leadership Engagement. The NFPA Future Leaders Network has successfully drawn “next generation” leaders out of our member companies and into key programs and key leadership positions within the NFPA. Not least among these is the formal Executive Leadership Program we’re now offering through the Kellogg School of Management. Board members agreed to expand this network under some new branding that will help to better engage leaders across our member companies and offer more opportunity for professional development and impact of NFPA strategy.
  • Networking Events. Plans are in place for the February 2023 Annual Conference and registration is launching soon. Board members engaged in strategic scoping of the essential content that will be presented there, and will be helping to draw even more “first timers” to this one-of-a-kind event. Board also noted the on-going expansion of our forum to include OEMs and related technology partners at our Quarterly Technology Conferences – and one of the major initiatives arising out of those interactions, an Electrification in Fluid Power Task Force.
  • Fast Track to Fluid Power. There are now 3 Fast Track Hubs up and running in this, NFPA’s primary workforce development program for 2-year degreed technicians – one in Milwaukee, a second in Chicago, and now a third in Detroit. Board members engaged in planning for a fourth Hub later this year, and stressed the importance of members joining the new Workforce Engagement Groups that NFPA is organizing to get member company hiring managers plugged into these growing networks.
  • Power Partner Universities. There are now 5 universities that have earned this label, engaging in NFPA’s entire program portfolio to educate and excite undergraduate students in fluid power technology and careers. Board members are engaging as speakers, mentors, and judges in our Fluid Power Clubs, our Fluid Power Vehicle Challenge, and our growing number of Industry Connection Events being held on their campuses.

All NFPA members are encouraged to engage in these key programs to help them both connect across the supply chain and to source the talent they need for their continued growth and expansion. Please contact me at if you’d like to learn more about any of these opportunities.

The Board will be next meeting in February 2023 in conjunction with the NFPA Annual Conference.

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