Learning about topics of interest to recyclers doesn’t have to stop when convention week ends. Rebecca Turner, ISRI’s vice president of education and events, explains the association offers a wide-ranging menu of learning opportunities all year long. There are online courses, virtual events, in-person gatherings, chapter meetings, and facility training—all available through ISRI.

“Whether it’s delivered in person or online, we structure our educational offerings to fit you no matter where you fit into the industry,” Turner says. Learning is delivered in a variety of formats from 60-minute webinars to multiday conferences on topics that touch the full range of the recycling industry—from safety to materials identification to economics and more.

The convenience of delivery on demand plus significant savings for members on in-person and online course fees are accompanied by free webinars. Virtual events help keep people throughout the industry in touch when distance or extraordinary situations like the COVID-19 pandemic prevent recyclers from physically being in the same room to discuss important matters.

Organizational Culture and Safety Success, an online course developed by Ryan Nolte, Ph.D., ISRI’s director of safety outreach, recently concluded after four sold-out weekly virtual classes in January and February. Subjects included transformational leadership and its principles, techniques to improve culture, and the impact of an organization’s culture on safety and outcomes.

“Participants learned how leadership impacts culture and how culture affects all aspects of your operation,” Nolte says. “Positive leadership engaging with its workforce shapes positive business outcomes through shared assumptions and behaviors that show the organization’s culture. Safety-specific cultural elements such as collaboration, communication, and ethical behaviors are presented as keys in any organization to realize positive results in safety outcomes.”

Participants in Organizational Culture and Safety Success left with more than certificates of completion, Turner explains. “Dr. Nolte is helping nurture a network for the participants. He’s encouraging these folks to start to check in with one another and depend on each other [so] that they can bounce ideas off each other,” she says. “There’s going to be some longevity from this in the industry.”

ISRI offers two online courses: Safety in Scrap Recycling and Scrap University’s Certified Scrap Metal Professional presented with ISRI. More content will be added, and the website will evolve over time to meet the ever-changing needs of members. Visit isri.org/events-training to learn what webinars, conferences, and chapter meetings are scheduled—and come back often for updates.

Photo courtesy of Alejandro Escamilla on Unsplash.

Dan Hockensmith

Dan Hockensmith

I'm a native Ohioan who since 2014 has called Maryland home. My background includes print, broadcast, and digital journalism; government contracting; marketing communications; and nonprofit advocacy.