I took a little vacation at home at the end of the month. Since I have a home office, it takes a massive amount of will-power to actually avoid the back stairs to the office. I was, for a change, pretty successful in enjoying time with old friends and grandchildren.

Two things came to mind during my time away from the office and they cover the spectrum of a career. These thoughts included, first, attracting new talent to the measurement, control and automation field and second (while on the road to retirement), honoring those who have made significant contributions to our industry. MCAA is involved in both and there is good news and bad news with regard to our efforts.

The bad news is that we had planned to hold an event for middle school students during the Industry Forum next spring in Nashville. We learned this week that the timing is off–the week that we are in Nashville falls right on top of the TN Ready exams and so we are unable to hold the event in conjunction with the Industry Forum. Because we are a small staff, I doubt that we will be able to mount an event like this independent of the Industry Forum but that question will be put to the Workforce Development Committee at its meeting in September. If you have thoughts, chime in. But rest assured that it is just a small detour–I am confident that the Association will create opportunities to tell students around the country about our industry. We may well use one of the many events already on calendars–like Lego League, Destination Imagination, Odyssey of the Mind, or Science Olympiad. But those events attract kids (and parents) who probably already are playing around with technology. We had hoped to get some traction with those students who are not already excited about STEM and show them there is cool stuff in our industry! Stay tuned and please let me know your thoughts about actions MCAA might take.

The good news is that in August, the Board approved the Measurement, Control and Automation Hall of Fame. The other end of the line–to honor people who have made a significant and memorable contribution to the instrumentation and control industry. Nominations open September 1 and close at the end of the year. We plan to honor up to three people as the first inductees during the Industry Forum next April. The MCAA Board will make the final selection of nominees until the Hall has a population of five individuals. But MCAA members will ALWAYS be able to nominate individuals for this distinguished achievement award. Information is located on our website about the Hall of Fame, the nomination process and the nomination form.

The Alpha and the Omega–attracting new talent and honoring achievement. Good things to think about on vacation.