Casey Jones Talks Parking
Someone asked me a few months back if, along the way, I had ever envisioned myself as Chairman of the Board of the International Parking Institute (IPI). The answer was, ďNo, I didnít.Ē Like many of my colleagues, I backed into parking as a career, and while I never planned for it, I wouldnít have it any other way.
I take great pride in my own professionalism and in my involvement with the IPI. Itís where Iíve met countless other professionals who work every day to improve their own businesses or departments and the standing of the parking industry as a whole.
For its part, the IPI has grown by leaps and bounds over the last few years, and Iím honored to serve as its chair during another period of growth and expansion.
Spend any time at one of our conferences or events and youíre sure to hear us say, over and over, that ďparking matters.Ē For one thing, Parking Matters is IPIís industry-wide program for advancing the parking profession through proactive, integrated public relations and marketing. For another, itís a phrase we truly believe in.
Parking matters to everyone, no matter where you are or what you do for a living. Itís an integral, crucial piece of the transportation puzzle that affects businesses in every sector, location and specialty, and plays a huge part in the lives of people around the world.
Hand-in-hand with that effort is a renewed focus on professional development and learning. Youíve seen this over the past year through IPIís conference educational programming Ė more than 2,400 people traveled to the 2011 IPI Conference & Expo in Pittsburgh, and Iíve heard from many about their plans to be with us in Phoenix in 2012 Ė on-site training and webinars, which have proven tremendously popular and useful. Itís no wonder: Participants can take part in IPI webinars from their own desks or conference rooms and educate everyone from the newest front-line worker to the seasoned CEO on trends, technology and new industry information.
Iím proud to say the IPI is about to take that sort of professional development a huge step forward, with the introduction of online distance learning programs through its e-Learning Center.
Allowing professionals to learn at their own pace and without leaving their offices, these parking-specific courses are designed to broaden the knowledge base of everyone in the industry. Participants can queue up lessons whenever they fit into their busy schedules, and earn certificates of completion in areas as varied as customer service and conflict resolution, technology trends, and on- and off-street parking management.
Of course, the IPI will continue to offer on-site training programs, seminars and First Observer training, both on a national level and through our allied state and regional associations. These new learning opportunities were designed to supplement our existing selection, offering a terrific new delivery method for valuable information, and strengthening our relationships with our partners around the globe.
The IPI also continues sharing the good news about the parking industry, through our own publications and the mainstream media. In recent months, parking professionals and the IPI have been quoted in an array of media reports, from msnbc.com and The New York Timesí Wheels blog to Todayís Facility Manager and dozens more trade and consumer publications.
As IPI Chairman, Iíve enjoyed my interviews with these and other news organizations and plan to continue talking with the media about the great things going on in parking.
The IPI continues to be the parking industryís No. 1 resource for education and learning at every level of job proficiency, from meter-readers to upper-level managers. These programs mesh beautifully with the IPIís Parking Matters campaign: As more professionals advance their own industry educations and spread the word about our industryís crucial role in transportation, we all advance the industry and change opinions for the better.
The word is getting out Ė parking really does matter, and the IPIís increased focus on education and professional development works hand-in-hand with its public relations effort to showcase the industryís role in transportation, urban planning and the global economy.
Iím proud to chair the IPI during such an important phase of our growth, and even prouder to count myself among parking professionals around the world. Parking matters!
IPI Board Chairman Casey Jones, CAPP, is Director of Transportation and Parking at Boise (Idaho) State University. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.