Executive Director’s Message By Ches Blevins: Success Through Education and Outreach
"Success Through Education and Outreach"
Our August eNewsletter is a perfect time for TMRA Members to reflect on the value of Education and Outreach BY TMRA. Our Social Media efforts are ongoing and we have just completed a really outstanding Summer of Teacher Workshops. One of those, for Industrial Minerals, was coordinated very closely for the first time with the Texas Aggregates and Concrete Association (TACA), a sister association with some of its real leader members also being TMRA Members.
Social Media: Do you consider Social Media as an education opportunity? If not, you should. While it is different from our face-to-face Teacher Workshops, it CAN be no less effective and, in fact, can reach a much larger audience and can/should be a “go to” source of up-to-date information about our Member Industries. When you have new employees or neighbors, friends, even “enemies” ask you questions about our industries and their impacts, where do you look or send them for good information? Why not to our TMRA website and to our Social Media links? Christian Goff and her Team work very hard each and every month to develop and post great information in an easily read and understood format. Check out our Social Media piece in this eNewsletter. We not only encourage you to read and distribute this information, we ask you to pass along for our use great information about our industries, your companies, employees, innovations and efforts. Along with this don’t forget to let us know of YOUR Community Outreach efforts with Schools, Chambers of Commerce, Rotary Clubs and the like. We absolutely want to recognize those efforts. Remember, too, that our TMRA eNewsletter reaches a MUCH larger audience than just our Members, including State and Federal Agency Leaders and State and Federal Legislators. We CAN increase the knowledge base of good fact-based information IF you will help!
Teacher Workshops: We all know the importance of and success of our Teacher Workshops. This Summer was no different and, in fact, took us up a notch as we strive to be even more effective year over year. In this eNewsletter you’ll see feedback from Bud McCormick, Martin Marietta’s Hunter Cement Plant Asst. Plant Mgr., related to our joint Industrial Minerals Teacher Workshop with TACA. This coordination and interaction is exactly what makes our education efforts so successful. I tell people all the time that TMRA does not SELL our industries, just provides absolutely up front FACTS using the skills of our Education Team led by Francye Hutchins and the hospitality, support and expertise of our Owner/Operators and Support Members. This Summer, our Teachers once again were able to not only tour and learn about an in-situ uranium operation and everything that goes into that, but also toured the South Texas Nuclear Project outside of Victoria, TX. Finally, along with outstanding Workshops at the Sabine, Walnut Creek and San Miguel Mines, we also had one at the Kosse Mine. Related to that Workshop, we’ve included what Alex Schoch, the Railroad Commission’s General Counsel and Interim Surface Mining Division Director, calls a “Fan Letter,” and it is. This is a letter sent to Railroad Commissioner Wayne Christian (who spoke at our TMRA-RMCMI Spring event). While the letter is specific to that Mine and Workshop, its message applies across the board.
Bottom line: Our Education and Outreach programs and efforts are professional and effective and should be used. That’s up to TMRA AND UP TO YOU!