Years before the majority of today’s training professionals were in grade school, 15 men from the petroleum industry gathered for the first meeting of the American Society of Training Directors. It was the beginning of the ASTD we know today. It was 1943 — a time when the world was in the midst of World War II. A time when training was emerging as a formal organizational function, corporate strategy, and necessity of a highly skilled workforce.
From chalkboards and whiteboards to smart boards, e-learning, and virtual classrooms, the face of training has experienced an amazing transformation since that first meeting 70 years ago. And ASTD has been a guiding influence every step of the way. Now the world’s largest association dedicated to the training and development field, ASTD represents every industry — and every sector — across 122 U.S. chapters, 100 countries, and 39,000 members. While its name has since changed to the American Society of Training & Development, its mission remains largely the same: to empower professionals to develop knowledge and skills successfully. ASTD’s goal is to raise the standards of the training profession and it accomplishes that through its publications, forums, education, research, resources, and conferences.
I attended my first ASTD conference when I joined HRDQ fresh out of college. I’ve been there nearly every year since, and I’ll attend the 2013 International Conference & Exposition next week when training professionals from around the world come together in Dallas, Texas. Frankly, there isn’t a better way to catch the latest trends, meet face-to-face with training colleagues, hear from industry leaders — and simply be inspired. Be sure to visit HRDQ in Booth #1053. We look forward to seeing you!
How has ASTD influenced your career? Post a comment and tell us.