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ASC has new programs on the horizon

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ASC President Matt Croson addresses the membership at the association's 2014 Fall Expo and Convention in Greenville, S.C.

GREENVILLE, S.C.—The Adhesive and Sealant Council is on the verge of debuting a variety of new programs and offerings.

In an address to its members during the recent Fall Convention and Expo in Greenville, President Matt Croson outlined the ASC's intent to expand some of its offerings for 2015 and beyond.

Croson outlined the ASC's six main long-range objectives: career innovation; community knowledge integration; innovation; standing as a unified voice; accelerating growth; and organizational alignment.

Most of the new activity falls under the association's objective of career innovation. Croson said the ASC sponsored 15 webinars through October 2015 and now all of its previous webinars, which encompasses 38 titles, are on demand.

“That was one thing the board had asked,” Croson said. “When we create a training academy, we wanted to track them and put them online for those who maybe couldn't make the meeting.”

Now, the ASC sponsors five short courses, but will roll out three more over the next three years. Croson said the plan is to debut one on sustainable chemistry in 2015, advanced materials in 2016 and to develop one on testing by 2017.

Furthermore, Croson said the ASC wants to take the classes and configure them in a way that gives those who complete the course a level of certificate. The association plans to hire an educational manager to manage the five short courses, the three new ones and oversee the certificate program.

Croson said ideally the position will be filled by first quarter 2015 so the certificate program could be rolled out in 2016.

“There is a lot going on when it comes to career education,” Croson said. “We don't want to just be the convention. We're trying to support those employees with 0-10 years of experience with education.”

Fully engage members

Croson said one of the ASC's objectives is to continue to fully engage members beyond just paying dues. Inspiring firms to attend the conference and share knowledge helps the ASC achieve many other objectives.

“Our long-range plan is focused on engagement,” Croson said. “We're trying to fully engage our members in different ways.”

In an interview following his presentation, Croson said the biggest opportunity of knowledge integration is in the area of environmental product declarations. EPDs are a demand in the building or construction industries where design engineers are asking suppliers to deliver more information to them through these EPDs.

Croson said the ASC is trying to help absorb some of the time and expense by partnering with global associations—such as the Association of the European Adhesive and Sealant Industry—to create a global EPD for the different technologies on the market. To do so, the ASC needs technical input and sharing of information regarding all aspects of lifecycle assessments.

The goal is to develop an EPD every member can use. Croson projected the process would take a little more than a year.

“The bigger companies are going to be able to do this,” Croson said. “It's the small- to mid-size companies that, if they have 500 products, and you need EPD across every one of those, it can become an exponential expense.

“We're trying to create generic EPDs that represent full classes of different technologies and allowing them to be shared once they've been adopted.”

Other ways the ASC is integrating knowledge is through its Leadership Conference, held every other odd year in the summer.

The conference includes CEOs or senior executives coming together to share best practices. For instance, the ASC had an expert present on social media for CEOs, highlighting 10 questions they should be asking their social media teams.

Croson said the association is working to roll out a Ten-Years Out Conference to be held every other even year starting in 2016. That conference will bring in demographers to give firms an idea of what specific regions are growing and why over the next 10 years.

Other activities

The ASC will hold a spring and fall convention and expo in 2015. The first starts on April 20 in Nashville, Tenn., and the second begins Oct. 19 in Pittsburgh. The 2015 Leadership Conference will be held June 22 in Big Sky, Mont.

One way the ASC is looking to improve the expo is to get more machinery producers involved so adhesive manufacturers can meet with both raw material suppliers and machinery suppliers at the same time.

“One of the strongest values that this association has delivered historically is we connect raw material suppliers to manufacturers,” Croson said. “Both are members and both are actively involved.”

The ASC is a North American trade association comprised of about 130 adhesive and sealant manufacturers, raw material and equipment suppliers, distributors and industry consultants.