Participation in CGA Committees Pays Multiple Dividends

October 27, 2019

Active participation in committees of the Compressed Gas Association (CGA) has long been recognized as a premium membership benefit, providing each member company with an equal voice in the development of standards that will drive our industry’s approach to safety for generations to come. But there’s another significant benefit associated with attending CGA committee meetings: the educational opportunities they offer, especially for up-and-coming employees.

In the following video, Andy Cichocki, current CGA Board Chair and Chief Operating Officer of Airgas, explores the unique value of CGA committees, which he suggests provide an invaluable “melting pot of knowledge” for all those who participate.

While many committee meetings focus on work process, workload prioritization, and governance, there are also many work item discussions, which often include:

  • technical debates on industry positions
  • discussions on best practices and new technologies
  • descriptions of historical rationales for current requirements
  • reports on incidents or near misses

Because CGA committee meetings bring together many of the industry’s leading technical experts, these working sessions can provide a unique opportunity for networking and mentorship. Discussions held within CGA committee meetings offer an ideal learning environment for those new to the industry, and many members welcome the involvement of newcomers in committee activities.

In the following video, Jim Reebel, Senior Principal Environmental Engineer at Air Products, shares his experience as a relative newcomer to committee work and leadership.

In addition to learning from conversations related to each work item, participating members get a chance to enhance practical skills such as technical reasoning, public speaking, and position formulation.

Access to these learning forums becomes increasingly important as the industry faces the looming retirement of large numbers of senior technical experts. We must find ways to effectively transition critical knowledge from one generation to the next so that the industry retains the historical learnings so crucial to advancing safety and preventing future catastrophic incidents.

Engaging new industry employees in CGA activities does not have to require a substantial time or resource commitment. Many new participants are assigned to only a limited number of work items related to their area of responsibility and are able to attend a number of meetings by webconference. In addition, members may participate in a listening capacity, and don’t have to be in-depth experts on a particular topic in order to gain something from the discussion.

In the following video, Tom Drube, Vice President of Engineering for Chart Industries, shares some of the reasons Chart finds it beneficial to get some of their younger engineers actively involved in committee work.

If you have an employee or colleague who is new to the industry, we encourage you to support their involvement in CGA committees.