To educate, develop and mentor future professionals in the field of occupational safety, health and the environment (SH&E) and to help them transition into the working world after school, the American Society of Safety Engineers (ASSE) is sponsoring its 5th annual Future Safety Leaders Conference (FSLC) at the Hyatt Regency in Indianapolis, IN, this November 12-13.

The two-day conference, designed for ASSE student members, was created to prepare the future safety professionals for the transition from student life to employment. The theme of the 5th annual conference is “Staying a Step Ahead in Safety: The Profession and the Professional,” and this year’s conference aims to foster the abilities of student members and their peers to be an agent of change in the SH&E profession.

At last year’s conference in Louisville, KY, students were optimistic about the growing safety profession despite a downturn in the economy. At the conference, the then ASSE Slippery Rock University Student Chapter Vice President and senior studying health, safety and environmental management, Natasha Banks noted, “I see our major and department growing at Slippery Rock University. We have five professors in the program and I can definitely see the need for more. I remember when the program had around 30 students, now it is more like 85 – 100. The program is running out of space.”

In addition, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of occupational safety and health practitioners is expected to increase nine percent during the 2006 – 2016 decade. Also, the University of California San Diego Extension recently listed the SH&E profession as among a ‘dozen hot careers for college graduates’.

The 2009 schedule includes: presentations from keynote speaker Assistant Professor , University of Minnesota Duluth Todd Loushine, PhD, P.E., CSP, speaking about “Networking for Success: Developing Professional Relationships”; roundtable discussions featuring industry leaders; resume and cover letter critiques; and opportunities for students to network with peers. The round table discussions will provide students with insights from professionals who work in a variety of safety careers on a daily basis along with insight into business operations. The event, sponsored by ASSE, the ASSE Foundation, Liberty Mutual Group and the Washington Division of URS, is offered at no cost to ASSE student members.

Other presentations include sessions on: “Your Profession as a Profession” from ASSE professional member Julius Rhodes, SPHR; “Conducting Effective Presentations” by ASSE Central Indiana Chapter member Todd Clayton, CHST; “Young Professionals: How to deal with those that look down on age and ignore ability” by ASSE member Jason Smith; and “How to Attain Buy-In” by past ASSE Region VII Vice President Michael Hayslip, P.E., CSP. There will also be a welcome message from past ASSE student member and ASSE FSLC Chair Michael F. Murray and a message from ASSE President C. Christopher Patton, CSP.