A golden opportunity for the New Year

I’m a firm believer in making resolutions for each New Year.

Why? Because many years ago I was struck by these words written by poet Edith Lovejoy Pierce: “We will open the book. Its pages are blank. We are going to put words on them ourselves. The book is called Opportunity, and its first chapter is New Year’s Day.”

If you’re like most people, your list of resolutions (opportunities) for the new year will probably include at least one of the following: lose weight, exercise, better manage finances, become more organized, enjoy life more, spend more time with family and friends, eat better or become a better person.

Special Resolution

As you prepare your opportunities for this year, I would like to suggest adding one to your list that all of us at Fleet Maintenance believe is most worthy: helping evolve professionalism in the fleet maintenance industry.

You can easily do this by becoming involved with the newly created Fleet Maintenance/Kansas University Scholarship Program for the university’s Maintenance Management Online Certificate Course. The objective is to have an annual program that advances the cause of maintenance management - a critical component in fleet operations.

Course Elements

The Maintenance Management Online Certificate Course is designed for all types of mobile fleets and maintenance environments, and is tailored to help those enrolled evaluate their maintenance operation; plan, coordinate and schedule maintenance; and properly use preventive and predictive maintenance in their operation.

Because the course is an online program, there is flexible study time and work pace, and there are no travel-related expenses.

Upon successful completion of the Maintenance Management Online Certificate Course, participants are awarded a certificate by the University of Kansas (KU) and Fleet Maintenance documenting their specialized education and knowledge in maintenance management.

The instructor for the course is Joel Levitt, a leading trainer of maintenance professionals and the author of a column on management matters that appears regularly in Fleet Maintenance.

Levitt has conducted over 500 training sessions for more than 15,000 maintenance leaders from 3,000 organizations in more than 20 countries. Since 1980, he has been the president of Springfield Resources, a Lafayette Hill, PA-based management consulting firm that services clients of all sizes on a wide range of maintenance issues.

Complete details about the Maintenance Management Online Certificate Course can be found on the KU Continuing Education’s website at www.continuinged.ku.edu/programs/maintenance_management/index.php.

Worthwhile Cause

We all know how valuable effective fleet maintenance managers are. Therefore, supporting a scholarship program for deserving individuals in their next step in fleet maintenance management is a sound investment.

What’s more, supporting the annual Fleet Maintenance/Kansas University Scholarship Program is an opportunity for you to give back to the fleet maintenance industry, plus make a real difference in helping to further evolve professionalism within our industry.

And consider this: a person who receives a scholarship typically becomes a donor to a scholarship in the future. Consequently, your support of the Fleet Maintenance/Kansas University Scholarship Program can establish a chain of philanthropy that extends for many, many years.

Next Steps

You can become involved with the Fleet Maintenance/Kansas University Scholarship Program by nominating someone for a scholarship, becoming a program sponsor or doing both.

To qualify for the scholarship, a person must have, at minimum, two years of work experience in fleet maintenance and aspire to a career in fleet maintenance management. Nominations may come from anyone, including the scholarship candidate.

Nomination forms can be found at www.vehicleservicepros.com/awards/scholarship/fmu.

The deadline for nominations is April 15, 2012.

Ten full scholarships will be awarded. Winners will be notified by June 1, 2012, and will be recognized in the October issue of Fleet Maintenance and online, and at a Technology & Maintenance Council (TMC) annual meeting.

Program Sponsorship

At present, Michelin and WorkSafe USA are the sole program sponsors.

Dedicated to the improvement of sustainable mobility, Michelin designs, manufactures and sells tires for every type of vehicle, including airplanes, automobiles, bicycles, earthmovers, farm equipment, heavy duty trucks and motorcycles.

WorkSafe USA manufactures the Dump-lok dump truck bed safety device system. The Dump-lok locks the dump bed in the raised position, preventing it from falling due to system failure or operator error.

CDX, an automotive training materials company, will donate technician training software for use in the maintenance departments of the 10 selected scholarship recipients.

For the particulars on both the scholarship program and program sponsorship, visit www.vehicleservicepros.com/awards/ku.

Future Engagement

Making resolutions each year is a good thing, research shows. Making promises to yourself means you’re thinking about reaching an objective.

When it comes to helping others, consider these words from Solon B. Cousins, a former national executive director of the YMCA: “In believing in others, we are believed in. In supporting others, we gain followers, and in recognizing the value of others, we are honored.”