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November 2008

Education & Training

Side Story:
SIA Ensures Safety
Via Educational Foundation

The Scaffold Industry Association (SIA) has provided training, education, lobbying and networking for professionals in the scaffold and access industry for more than 36 years. Since 1992, the funding group behind many of these activities has been the SIA Educational Foundation (SIAEF). The SIAEF is a separate, non-profit corporation that raises money to help the SIA provide comprehensive programs for the industry. These programs properly educate industry professionals on how to safely use and install scaffold to reduce falls, violations, fines and insurance premiums.

The Foundation at work
The Educational Foundation has helped fund training videos, CD ROMs and manuals; research; educational seminars; codes of safe practices; awareness programs; and other training and safety aids. The SIA works closely with governmental, legislative and administrative groups — such as OSHA — on both state and federal levels to develop reasonable standards. The SIAEF has funds available so the SIA can remain active in these groups and help pass rules and regulations based on industry knowledge.

The SIA has 10 councils working to protect and promote specific areas of the industry. When funding is needed, a council makes a presentation to the Educational Foundation regarding what they want to accomplish and the materials needed to do so. If the SIAEF finds it is a worthy cause, it will match the existing funds so the project can be completed.

Obtaining funds
The SIAEF raises money from fundraisers and benefactors. This year, the Educational Foundation held an auction at its Annual Convention and Exposition in Denver in July. Members donated their vacation properties, trips, resort vacation packages and hunting trips, which were bid on by other members. The money raised will go to the Educational Foundation for future training and education purposes. Benefactors also provided much of revenue for the SIAEF. To be a benefactor, members can donate money, donate fundraiser items or purchase fundraiser items. Benefactors receive recognition in the industry, increase the safety and awareness of the industry for themselves and their peers, and may get tax breaks for donations. For more information, contact Bill McBrayer, 513-702-9630.

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