As current President of AATCC, I would like to take this opportunity to acknowledge the pain so many of us are feeling as our communities awaken and respond to the ongoing reality of racial bias and injustice. At AATCC we acknowledge this exists and we recognize that, like many organizations, we have work to do toward creating a diverse community of professionals that is inclusive of all who wish to join us.
It’s incumbent upon each of us to understand that not everyone sees themselves in our ranks and we must consider how we can support industry peers, students, and young professionals from all walks of life as we look to grow engagement in AATCC and nurture the sharing of technical knowledge. We must continue to listen and learn with the aim of forging an environment that reaches a broader audience and that embraces differences and promotes connection through participation in educational programs, committees, and in all aspects of association leadership. AATCC will become stronger through diversity and inclusion and I invite you to join me in pursuit of this goal.
I also want to take this opportunity to speak to the exceedingly difficult time our industry is experiencing due to the spread of Covid-19. We have been facing a collection of challenges including disrupted supply chains, factory and retail closures, surging demand for PPE and rapidly transforming operations to enable social distancing as well as work from home for many.
We were incredibly fortunate to have connected with numerous members and industry contacts at the International Conference in March. Shortly after, the AATCC staff sprang into action to support our industry by providing critical information related to evaluation of textile materials for protective properties and sharing stories that provide a snapshot of how companies are responding to medical supply shortages as well as the rapidly changing retail and manufacturing landscape. I would like to thank our staff for their hard work and thoughtful response and our members for their willingness to connect with each other using remote strategies.
Now, the third quarter is upon us. As a global industry, the closures and subsequent re-opening of the economy is happening in waves and I believe we all expect that we will be living a “new normal” for some time to come.
At AATCC, we’re focusing on flexibility. In May, we took our Spring Committee meetings on-line and, although we’ve postponed some in-person training, we’ve introduced a lineup of webinars with topics covering consumer research and project management strategies as well as more technical topics related to visual evaluation of color and LED lighting. We hope you’ll find these sessions valuable and we encourage you to check out the new website for details.
We’ve also engaged in an initiative to provide guidance for manufacturing and selecting face coverings for general use. This effort draws participation from an ad-hoc group of industry stakeholders, and we’re pleased to be involved.
In closing, we encourage you to stay connected and to let us know what topics are of interest to you so that we can better support you through these uncertain times!