As promised. An update. It's lengthy and wordy. But let me try to get across as much as I can.
An overall update.
April 19th (Thursday) there was a conference call with 8 others and myself. We voted through nominations within this group of 9 to serve on the charter board of directors as volunteers. The official press release can be found here.
These people were not chosen lightly. Conversations were had between myself and them as well as their peer’s friends or friends of friends. The names are people from inside this group, names suggested to me. I asked here for those who were interested to reach out and many did.
I wanted to create a group of individuals who could really drive the vision of what I felt this should be all about, drive the vision of what the groups feedback and survey responses directed. These individuals when working as a team complete the circle for functional direction. Each individual brings a unique perspective from inside and at times outside the cycling industry.
Jeff Rowe Brent Williams Edward Reynolds Sarah Lamb Jenny Kallista Ric Hjertberg Marty Caivano Stu Thorne and myself are dedicated to listening, reacting and pushing for action and change.
This is real. The Association of Professional Bicycle Mechanics is forming.
As things within the website are finalized different links, pages and tabs will begin appearing. The Board of Directors and myself are committed to making the ProBMA everything it should be. It will not happen over night. It will happen.
The support from the cycling industry to this date has been incredible. As mentioned before – we can’t do this alone as mechanics. We need to involve every facet of industry including the consumer.
As for an update as to what has been happening. The press release sums it up fairly well. Finalizing the website, working on the legalities of forming an Association, discuss and formalize industry partnerships, evaluate potential member benefits and begin for form committees to create some of our first goals. We will create resource streams from merchandise sales, industry partnerships and memberships.
I invite anyone who is interested in being part of a committee to reach out by submitting their information at www.ProBMA.org/get-involved.
I encourage you all to invite your friends to this facebook group. We have not yet reached everyone who should be involved.
Remember that important information will be pinned at least weekly but also as it becomes available. As often as possible I’ll post this same information to the blog page on the www.probma.org website so it’s always easy to find. Our twitter and instagram will host information from time to time and when available.
I thank you, really everyone for coming to this place and being a part of the conversation.
This is just the beginning.
A recent survey posted on Bicycle Retailer and Industry News (BRAIN) asks the question “Retailers, do your mechanics have certification?” Presently the US cycling industry does not have any formal certification process, nor is there any system in place that vets a mechanic into a certain class or skill set.
In the US, Barnett Bicycle Institute, United Bicycle Institute and others have training programs and issue certificates and diplomas. A number of manufacturers also offer ongoing training programs that provide certificates upon completion. However, none of these are actually certifying a mechanic, instead they are merely providing proof to an employer that the person has successfully completed the documented training.
A major goal of the Professional Bicycle Mechanics Association (PBMA) is to help define what certificated training means to an employer and eventually issue professional certification levels as a member benefit. In the U.K. there are cycle mechanic trade schools and those conduits are a major part of entry into the industry. They have a government implemented system in place that is recognized by the cycling industry, the bicycle dealers but also, and most importantly, by the general public. We are hoping to create programs and systems that could eventually lead to a similar system for the cycling community here.
Does every mechanic need to be certified? No, certification only simplifies the process of professional education. With time, many top level mechanics will want to hold certification, shop owners and industry professionals will recognize it as a significant checkpoint when interviewing or hiring. It will mean that the mechanic is truly dedicated to their craft, makes time to better themselves through continued education, has acquired specialized skills (examples such as suspension service or wheel building) and is seeking to be associated with the very best in the industry.
The PBMA is dedicated to promoting, developing and advocating for the Professional Bicycle Mechanic. This will include not only focusing on each of these tasks within our industry but also educating the public on why utilizing a professional mechanic and a professional shop will be every more important in the future.
Professional Bicycle Mechanics Association
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