Educational Sessions For Municipal Planners

Gail Chiasson, North American Editor

The International Sign Association is spending much of its summer and fall ‘building bridges’, explaining the importance of signs to municipal planners in educational sessions held across the U.S..

The goal is to develop an ongoing relationship with planners who can rely on the expertise of ISA and its members when creating sign code legislation.

Earlier this summer, ISA held sessions in Seattle, and Phoenix. A Dallas session will be held in September. The Northeast States Sign Association will lead a November event in Albany, N.Y..

The event — which provides continuing education credits for planners — typically includes:

  • An ISA member company that works in the region provides information on sign technologies and engineering that goes into creating, building, and installing a sign;
  • A representative from a manufacturer of electronic message centers conveys how an EMC works and the technologies that allow the sign to be controlled;
  • An expert from outside the sign industry—a business leader or academic—explains the importance of signs to the business community;
  • An ISA government relations staff person details the legal rules and intricacies of developing sign code.

Some sessions also include a fifth element: a local expert discussing a topic of regional impact, such as a case study on a community’s sign code, or a lawyer discussing the state’s interpretation of sign regulations.

“Professional education about signs is extremely limited for planners, who may only receive a few hours of information during their formal training,” says Lori Anderson, ISA’s president and CEO. “So this session becomes an important component of continuing education. By proactively sharing this information, we believe that we are laying important groundwork to not only educate the planning community, but also to offer ourselves and our industry as a resource.”

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