NFPA Board Meets; Broadens NFPA’s Scope and Deepens Our Impact

Broadens NFPA’s Scope and Deepens Our Impact
by Eric Lanke, NFPA President/CEO

Back in October, I wrote about several discussions that occurred at the NFPA Board meeting and promised an update following the next Board meeting at our Annual Conference in February 2024. We’re now a few weeks past that February meeting, and I’m pleased to report that several key actions have been taken to continue broadening NFPA’s scope as an organization representing the fluid power industry and to continue deepening the impact of our industry, our association, and our members.

As a reminder, our Board has organized our many initiatives into NFPA’s Strategy Agenda, a plan that comprises the outcomes we seek to achieve for our members and in furtherance of our mission of strengthening the fluid power industry. This Agenda includes our four primary objectives:

  • Effective Forum: NFPA provides an effective forum where its members and OEMs network and advance our collective interests.
  • Business Intelligence & Statistics: NFPA provides its members with timely and accurate business intelligence and statistics that support improved decision-making.
  • Promote Fluid Power: NFPA provides opportunities and resources for its members to promote the unique strengths and inherent advantages offered by fluid power technology.
  • Educated Workforce: NFPA helps increase the number of technical college and university students educated in fluid power and connects them to careers in the fluid power industry.

At its February meeting, the Board took several specific actions to help advance these objectives.

  • New Member Category. NFPA is the trade association for the entire fluid power industry, whose technology is rapidly evolving to increasingly rely on electronic control systems and integrations with sensors, data capture and analytic functions. Companies manufacturing these products and providing these services have long been included in NFPA’s Manufacturer and Supplier membership types, but now, in order to help grow their ranks and deepen their engagement with NFPA, the Board approved the creation of a new membership category to better represent them. The action underscores the Board’s commitment to adapt to the changing dynamics of the industry while fostering collaboration and innovation among a diverse group of stakeholders. By providing a dedicated platform for companies specializing in controls, IoT, and data, we aim to facilitate deeper engagement and address the evolving needs of our members in an increasingly interconnected world.
  • New Promotional Opportunities. Connecting NFPA members with OEM engineers is a crucial piece of both our Effective Forum and Promote Fluid Power objectives. And the landscape of programs by which we accomplish those goals is changing rapidly. The Board offered its strong support to NFPA’s new Mobile and Industrial Technology Task Forces, which have identified and will now be advancing several collaborative projects designed to bring these stakeholders together to develop white papers and other key resources that help keep fluid power positioned as an actuation technology of choice on mobile and industrial platforms. One of these collaborative projects will be an advanced hydraulics conference for OEM engineers co-located with the iVT EXPO USA trade show in August 2024.
  • New Workforce Connections. Through the NFPA Foundation, the Board recognized that we have successfully built a number of pathways through which members can source technical and engineering talent for their businesses. Our Fast Track Technical Colleges and Power Partner Universities are the central hubs for this activity, and we are continuing to make plans for expanding these platforms to more and more regions of the country. At the Annual Conference, the Board actively encouraged more member companies to get engaged in these programs and take advantage of the hiring opportunities that they can offer. Students with interest and expertise in fluid power are finding their way into our industry, and a broader communication to members is needed to let them know what is available to them and how they can best engage with this growing network.

Our Board is a high-functioning group, and focused on the issues of direct importance to the membership and to the broader fluid power industry. As an NFPA member, I encourage you to get engaged in these key initiatives, as each will help you better connect across the changing supply chain and source the talent you need for continued growth and expansion. Please contact me at elanke@nfpa.com if you’d like to learn more about any of these opportunities.

The Board’s next meeting will be in June 2024, where our progress over this fiscal year will be assessed and goals set for our next fiscal year.

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