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The first ASCET officers were elected and installed and the first Executive Committee met January 21-23, 1965 in Atlanta, Georgia. There was no Chairman of the Board at that time nor was there a Pacific Northwest Vice President. The first President was Robert G. Silva, CET who in 1966 became the first Chairman. The Pacific Northwest finally elected a vice president in 1966 who was Richard L. Ring, CET.
Funds were required to begin a new society so a loan of $10,000 was secured through the courtesy of NSPE. That loan was repaid in full in 1972 and our appreciation for their assistance was conveyed. Since that time, ASCET has maintained a working relationship with NSPE by providing assistance in certification efforts, with members serving on the NICET board and on various NSPE committees, providing help for the administration of the Math Counts program and in many other ways on a state and national level.
Over the years, ASCET has granted Honorary Membership to those individuals who have been major contributors to the success and well-being of our society. Life Membership has also been granted certain members whose efforts on behalf of our society have been outstanding.
In 1964 many factors had an effect on the engineering technicians as a possible engineering team member. Employers were not aware of certified engineering technicians and their potential. There were no standard job descriptions due to the diversity of the various technical fields. There was no wage structure that existed for the professions and crafts and, finally, there was no consideration given for the rapidly changing technology which required certified technicians to seek continual training.
On April 3, 1964, approximately 70 certified technicians attended an organizational meeting sponsored by the National Society of Professional Engineers in Kansas City, Missouri. These technicians realized the need for a forum to discuss the issues of employment and improvement of their professional status, and to provide recognition for the technicians who were successful in their chosen field. As a consequence, ASCET was formed.
Initially, there were 316 Charter Members, all of whom were certified, and during the following years the society continued to recruit only certified members with the exception of Student Members. In 1974 technologists who had completed BT degrees were admitted to membership and in 1981 membership was opened to all technicians and technologists who, although not certified, met all other society qualifications. In 1989, because there were already several person who were anxious to join the society who held P.E. licenses and who, by virtue of their registration, are qualified to be more than "Regular" members and should be recognized as such, the category of "Registered Member" was added. This designation was also extended to those holding Registered Land Surveyor licenses.
First certifications were issued by ICET, the Institute for the Certification of Engineering Technicians in 1961. ICET has since become NICET, the National Institute for Certification in Engineering Technologies. This institute is under the auspices of NSPE but it operates more or less independently with its own governing board. Because NICET has broadened its range of disciplines dramatically since its beginning, it continues to provide the majority of our certified members.
ASCET for many years has interfaced with the provincial societies of technicians and technologists in Canada. Officers of the Canadian council as well as individual provincial officers and the officers of ASCET have attended the functions and meetings of both groups. Many benefits to our respective societies have evolved from these exchanges as well as personal friendships and great respect for the professional integrity and abilities of our Canadian counterparts.
Today, ASCET members have achieved status as full members of the engineering team by creative problem solving, by vital contributions to and recognition by their employers, and by providing the public with information concerning the role technicians and technologists play on the team. All of these activities have hastened the growth and prosperity of our nation in general and of engineering in particular. Although there are still pockets of resistance to the engineering team concept, over the past 30 years tremendous progress has been made and more and more of these pockets are disappearing as employers begin to realize the value of certification as well as experience.