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Letter to the Editor on ASSE Opportunities to Maintain Skills While Looking for a Job

Posted in on Wed, Dec 1, 2010

601 E. Street NW
Washington, D.C. 20049

Letter to the Editor:

During these trying economic times, it is important to remember the importance of building and maintaining skill sets while searching for new employment. In the October, 2010 AARP bulletin, a reader posed the question, “I’ve been out of work for more than a year. How can I keep my skills sharp while I continue to look for a job?” In your answer, you mention the importance of professional associations and the benefits they can provide for those in similar situations. The American Society of Safety Engineers (ASSE) offers many valuable programs and services designed to help members and those in the safety, health and environmental (SH&E) field maintain and develop new skills, even while looking for a job.

ASSE events like the upcoming SeminarFest in January, 2011, at the Flamingo in Las Vegas, NV, provides occupational safety and health professionals with an opportunity to earn up to 5.0 Continuing Education Units (CEUs) during the week-long event. More than 50 seminars include topics such as management, hazard recognition, occupational risk assessment, auditing, measurement and workshops on becoming an effective consultant. ASSE’s Professional Development Conference (PDC), held each June, offers the best and most-up-to-date SH&E informative sessions, as well as an exposition that displays and demonstrates cutting-edge occupational safety and health technology, products and services.

In addition to events like SeminarFest and the PDC, ASSE offers certification preparation workshops for professionals who wish to obtain a new certification to add to their skill sets. Certification preparation workshops are available for the following designations: Associate Safety Professional (ASP), Certified Safety Professional (CSP), Occupational Health and Safety Technologist (OHST), Construction Health and Safety Technician (CHST), and Certified Hazardous Materials Manager (CHMM). Also offered are certification programs for the Executive Program in Safety Management and the Certificate in Safety Management. For more information about certifications and the current certification preparation workshop schedule, please visit

For those who cannot travel to continuing education events, getting involved with ASSE locally is a great way to network and tap resources in your community. ASSE has over 150 chapters worldwide, most of which meet monthly and have web sites with valuable job resources, as well as information about local events. ASSE’s practice specialties and common interest groups provide a range of industry-specific tools to help those who wish to pursue finding a new job, including networking opportunities and webinars that can be viewed from the comfort of one’s own home. The practice specialties and common interest groups also provide a great forum for discussion, where those in need of assistance can voice their questions and get answers. Most ASSE practice specialties and common interest groups have pages featured on the popular professional networking site, LinkedIn. For more information about these groups, please visit

ASSE also provides members with resources and tools to help in the job search. The mentoring program allows professionals to learn from others on the job and gain guidance during the job search and in the field of SH&E. Networking opportunities are key in helping members feel connected to other professionals who can provide guidance in the job search and also in skills development. The ASSE career resources portal, available at, provides an excellent set of tools for finding a new job and includes tutorials for creating resumes and cover letters, instructions for using job boards, interviewing, negotiation and tips for networking.

Though times are trying and developing skills while looking for a job may seem like a full-time endeavor, the end results will be well worth the time spent. For more information about ASSE and the professional development opportunities offered, please visit
Founded in 1911, the Des Plaines, IL – based ASSE is the oldest professional safety organization and is committed to protecting people, property and the environment. Its more than 32,000 occupational safety, health and environmental professional members lead, manage, supervise, research and consult on safety, health, transportation and environmental issues in all industries, government, labor, health care and education. For more information, please go to


Warren K. Brown, CSP, ARM, CSHM
American Society of Safety Engineers Past-President (2008-2009)

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