MJSA Education Foundation Appoints Executive Director

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MJSA, the trade alliance dedicated to professional excellence in jewelry making and design, has appointed Rich Youmans executive director of the MJSA Education Foundation, a 501(c)3 subsidiary that supports training and career initiatives for workers throughout the industry.

Youmans, a 26-year veteran of MJSA, currently serves as the alliance's chief communications officer and the publisher of its print and digital media (including the flagship monthly magazine MJSA Journal). He has also played an integral role in developing many of MJSA's educational programs (including the MJSA Journal LIVE and At the Bench Live seminars) and overseeing the Foundation's scholarship program.

He will now expand upon those responsibilities to further advance the Foundation's educational efforts, which include the recently launched MJSA Mentor & Apprenticeship Program. A recipient of a JCK Industry Fund grant, the program aims to develop the tools needed by businesses to bring on apprentices and train them properly. Nanz Aalund, author of the MJSA Press book A Jeweler's Guide to Apprenticeships, is now developing a Competency-Based Occupational Framework for bench jewelers that, when completed, will have the first nationally recognized standards and training procedures.

"Rich has always had a passion for education, and his experience in publishing and disseminating information has dovetailed nicely with MJSA's efforts to provide relevant technical and business education," says MJSA President/CEO David W. Cochran. "Under his direction and with the guidance of the Foundation's chair, Steve Cipolla, the MJSA Education Foundation will be able to accelerate its drive to foster the next generation of jewelers and maintain a competitive workforce."

For updates about the MJSA Education Foundation and its initiatives, click here.