February 26, 2019 / Russell Hayward

Filling the Talent Pipeline

Some people know right from the start what they want to do when they “grow up”—that is, graduate from college. I wasn’t one of them.

When I graduated with a degree in Environmental Science, I wasn't even aware of the industrial hygiene profession. My journey in industrial hygiene started with a long conversation with a friend of mine who was an industrial hygienist. His passion for industrial hygiene, what it means and the value it brings to the world, encouraged me to do a little digging of my own and realize that I wanted to be part of the professionals who help people stay healthy on the job.

I have many cherished memories about the profession and my work: the day I entered graduate school to learn about the profession; the first day I went into the chemical plant and was able to put to use what I learned in graduate school, using the air and noise monitoring tools; and the numerous occasions when workers personally thanked me for improving their conditions in the field. I'm sure you can relate to most, if not all, of these experiences.

In retrospect, this profession has given me so much more than just memories: an opportunity to travel around the world, meet new people and experience different cultures; a secure career that allowed me to do what I love most; and most importantly, a chance to help people work in safe and healthy environments.

Industrial hygiene is close to my heart, and that’s why I remain committed to supporting the American Industrial Hygiene Foundation in making sure that we always have someone out there protecting the health of workers. AIHF aims to advance the IH profession by awarding scholarships that fund education and professional development in industrial hygiene and related disciplines. Today I'm asking you to donate to AIHF​ to help deserving IH students and researchers land scholarships that can transform their careers. Since 1982, AIHF has allocated nearly $2 million to 680 students studying industrial hygiene and related disciplines at 54 different schools and universities. In 2018 alone, AIHF raised more than $133,000 in donations, awarding 48 scholarships totaling $116,950 in aid given.

Thank you to all who have donated over the years! Let’s continue this momentum in 2019. What we do matters: we help workers have a good life. But we also need to support the next generation of smart, passionate individuals who are determined to protect worker health.

Let's make sure our profession is growing and the talent pipeline continues to produce exceptional industrial hygienists.

Russell Hayward

Russell Hayward, CIH, is former AIHA Managing Director of Scientific and Technical Initiatives.


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