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    Propane Education & Research Council Launches PR Program, Puts Research and Training Plans in Place; Funds Projects, Nominates Officers

     

    June 17, 1999

    The Propane Education & Research Council met in Keystone, Colorado last week (June 9-10) during the National Propane Gas Association's Pinnacle 2000 conference.

    The Council moved forward on the execution of its overall mission through the development of three business plans in the areas of consumer education, safety and training, and research and development. In each area, the Council voted in favor of establishing advisory committees to accelerate the three programs. Representatives from all segments of the propane industry will be invited to serve on these committees.

    Consumer Education. In its biggest funding decision to date, the Council voted to hire communications firm Porter Novelli of Washington, D.C. to carry out a $1.25 million marketing and public relations program for the propane industry over the next 12 months. The goal of the multi-faceted campaign is to enhance the industry's image and increase market share through a business-to-business strategy aimed at key markets.

    Safety and Training. The Council approved the formation of a Safety and Training Advisory Committee (STAC) and approved funding for two training grants (see page 2). The Committee will continue the work of the Training Needs Assessment Task Force, which was organized to assess the industry's training needs. The group's findings, including a list of recommended training projects, were presented to the Council. The Council requested that the new advisory committee develop a timeline, budget and strategic plan incorporating the task force's recommendations-explaining how the proposals fill the workforce training 'gaps' identified in the task force's final report.

    Research and Development. The Council also agreed to establish an ongoing research and development advisory committee. The committee will be responsible for evaluating and recommending action on unsolicited funding requests, as well as developing value-added projects for Council consideration through a request for proposals process.

    Approved Funding Requests. The Council approved funding for five grants and 15 state rebates (from 12 states). All approved funding requests can be found on the Council's web site-www.propanecouncil.org.

    State rebates: (total-$301,480)

    12 states were awarded rebate funds, including Alabama, Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Montana, Nebraska, Virginia, West Virginia, and Wisconsin.
    Grants: (total-$343,327)

    National Fire Protection Association ($62,252.59)-funding will support the development of NFPA 58 LP-Gas code phase one training program. The Council requests that proceeds from the sale of these materials be invested in updates of the training materials.

    National Propane Gas Association ($206,736)-funding will support production of a video for industry trainers involved in both the Certified Employee Training Program (CETP), general propane delivery and the new 49 CFR 171.5 principles.

    Safety & Training Advisory Committee-Council Initiative ($15,500)-funding will support formation of the committee to further develop recommendations for industry training needs.

    Consumer Awareness Program-Council Initiative ($10,000)-funding will support program to increase consumer awareness of overfilling prevention device requirements on propane cylinders.

    API Report-Council Initiative ($51,838)-funding to support expansion of the American Petroleum Institute's (API) LP-Gas report.


    Council Officers Nominated. Several Council members were nominated to serve one-year terms as Council officers. The election of officers will take place at the Council's next meeting-July 20 in Dallas, Texas.

    Chairman                                    Milford Therrell, Daryl McClendon
    Vice Chairman-Producers           Bob Jackson
    Vice Chairman-Marketers           Glenn Miller, Tom Nunan
    Treasurer                                    Walter Cressman
    Secretary                                     David Lugar, Tom Saunders

    Upcoming Council Meetings.

    July 20
    Budget and Election of Officers
    Dallas, Texas

    July 24-25
    2nd Annual Leadership Summit
    (strategy session for state leaders)
    St. Louis, Missouri

    September 20-21
    Washington, D.C.

    December 6-7
    The Woodlands, Texas