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For the inaugural edition of IEEE-USA in Action, I am reflecting on the Action part of our new publication’s title.  As a student, young professional, or IEEE member elsewhere on the career spectrum, what does IEEE-USA do for you and how can you use this to your advantage?

IEEE-USA was established with the goal of supporting the career and public policy interests of the IEEE’s U.S. members.  Specifically, the vision of IEEE-USA is “to serve the IEEE U.S. member by being the technical professional’s best resource for achieving life long career vitality and by providing an effective voice on policies that promote U.S. prosperity.”  Enough with mission statements, now on to the Action.

The work of IEEE-USA can be broken down into three categories: working to support your career, working to enhance our profession, and working to shape U.S. technology policy.  IEEE-USA is working harder than ever right now to support the careers of electrical, electronics, and computer engineers.  The Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that levels of employment for U.S. electrical and electronics engineers retreated 3 percent in the fourth quarter of 2009.  IEEE-USA has a wealth of resources available for engineers impacted by the recession at http://www.ieeeusa.org/careers/help/.  I can attest that IEEE-USA staff are busy producing new E-Books and webinars to assist members with navigating all aspects of career.

By working to enhance our profession, IEEE-USA has taken the lead on endorsing and promoting public policies to correct imbalances in engineering work-force demand, reform immigration policy, ensure tax incentives for continuing education, protect inventors’ rights, provide incentives for innovation, and combat employment discrimination.  I have witnessed IEEE-USA staff supporting high-tech visa reform legislation in Washington.  I must also mention that IEEE-USA was a sponsor of the excellent 2009 Region 1 IEEE Women in Engineering Professional Development Seminar that I attended this past September in White Plains, New York.

Finally, IEEE-USA works to shape U.S. technology policy.  From hosting forums to discuss Legislative Agenda items to coordinating IEEE participation in Science-Engineering-Technology Congressional Visits Day, IEEE-USA serves as the voice of electrical and electronics engineers on Capitol Hill.  IEEE-USA further advocates for the policy interests of engineers as one of thirteen members of the American Association of Engineering Societies (AAES).  I became involved with IEEE-USA through the Washington Internships for Students of Engineering program, one of several internship/fellowship opportunities provided via IEEE-USA for engineers to directly impact technology policy.

IEEE-USA is a dynamic organization that works for its members in myriad ways.  I challenge each and every one of you to catch IEEE-USA in Action.

Sarah Rovito is IEEE-USA Today’s Engineer Student’s Voice Editor and a graduate student at The George Washington University.  Comments may be submitted to todaysengineer@ieee.org.


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