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VMA’s Basics Course Helps to Fill Industry Skills Gap

Next Seminar is Oct. 18-20 in Houston

Washington, D.C., Aug. 31, 2016 /Xpress Press/ —One of the most keenly felt needs in today’s industrial world is the lack of skilled employees—2.7 million people will retire by 2025 while 700,000 jobs will be created from economic expansion, according to a study on The Skills Gap in U.S. Manufacturing by Deloitte and the Manufacturing Institute.

“The number one driver of competitiveness in manufacturing today is not the lowest cost; it is talent,” says Greg Johnson, president of United Valve in Houston, and chairman of the VMA’s Education & Training Committee.

In answer to that need, the education and training arm of the Valve Manufacturers Association developed the Valve Basics Seminar & Exhibits event, which travels next to the Sheraton Brookhollow Hotel in Houston on Oct. 18-20.

In the valve industry, part of the problem is that there aren’t many places to receive an overview on a variety of valves, actuators and controls. The Valve Basics seminars are designed to give attendees basic knowledge without focusing on the merits of a particular company’s product line.

The three-day event begins with a day of general introduction to the industry as experts cover where valves are used, specific types such as multi-turn, check, quarter-turn and pressure-relief valves, and the basics of related equipment such as manual or fluid-powered actuators. Day two of the event goes into detail about more complicated valves and related equipment such as how actuators work, what solenoid valves do and how process flow is regulated through control valves and related systems. Day three delves deeper into issues such as fugitive emissions and packing; the types of materials in use today; critical applications; on/off power for fluid-powered actuators; data, feedback and asset monitoring; and valve repair.

Besides the courses, which are taught by experts with a long track history in the industry, two events allow attendees up-close exposure to the equipment discussed in the courses. A tabletop exhibit on the first day allows vendors to share products available to the industry. The Petting Zoo on the second day allows attendees to see how specific systems work.

For information or to register, go to

ABOUT VMA: Founded in 1938, the Washington, DC-based Valve Manufacturers Association of America represents nearly 100 U.S. and Canadian manufacturers of valves, actuators and controls, which account for about 80% of total industrial valve shipments.