At its recent meeting, the Board of Directors of United States Institute for Theatre Technology voted to contribute $75,000 to the development of the new Entertainment Technician Certification Program. Upon announcing the donation, USITT President Bruce Brockman commented, "USITT is pleased to able to support the ETCP and believes that it will have significant impact on the industry and on our members. This kind of professional support is central to the mission of USITT and its members."

UISTT's generous financial contribution further illustrates their significant commitment to the Certification Program. USITT was one of the first industry organizations to accept a permanent seat on the Certification Council which is the governing body for the Program. The appointment of two top Board members as their representatives to the Council - Dennis Dorn, Vice President for Commissions and Joe Aldridge, Vice President for Conferences - underscores the importance USITT places on the Program for their members.

The ETCP Fundraising Campaign is seeking funds for the development stage of the Program which is expected to become self supporting once the initial development phase is complete. The target for the campaign is $750,000 and USITT's contribution brings the total pledges received to date to $192,550. Tim Hansen, Chair of the Certification Council, commented, "This program cannot go forward without the support of the industry. We hope that the industry will follow the remarkable lead set by USITT to make this program a reality."

ETCP will set standards for safer working practices and reduce workplace risk in all entertainment venues. Industry experts will develop rigorous assessments, conduct examinations and award credentials to qualified entertainment technicians. ETCP will focus on disciplines that directly affect the health and safety of performers, crews and audiences, beginning with rigging skills and electrical skills. For more information visit www.etcp.esta.org