As I write this in mid-November, I am proud to note that the National Wildlife Control Operators Association (NWCOA) has had nearly 1,500 people participate in its webinars and certification programs in 2021. Two new courses were added this year: “Bird Management Level 2” and “Venomous Snake Safety and Handling.” We also started to offer pesticide and wildlife (when available) continuing education unit (CEU) credits for all of our courses. We plan to continue to offer — and expand upon — these educational opportunities in 2022.
We’ve seen success with online training, and plan to continue in that format for the convenience of members. That said, nothing beats in-person interaction, and we’re pleased that we’re able to start getting back to that, too. Most recently, we had a lot of great conversations with attendees who stopped by our booth at the National Pest Management Association’s (NPMA’s) PestWorld 2021 event in Las Vegas, Nev., last month. This was an excellent event with valuable educational sessions and tons of exhibitors. Our board members enjoyed networking, learning about the latest and greatest products, and meeting new NWCOA members and reconnecting with longtime members. We look forward to participating in PestWorld 2022 in Boston, Mass., next October.
Before then, however, we’re teaming with the NPMA once again for the 2022 Wildlife Expo, taking place Feb. 1-3 at the Caribe Royale Resort in Orlando, Fla. We are expecting about 40 exhibit booths and around 400 attendees. Five certification trainings will be offered before and after the main event. There also will be an awards banquet on the last night to celebrate some of our valuable contributors. We look forward to seeing everyone there: Learn more and register online at NWCOA.com/Wildlife-Expo.
Last but not least, if you are not already a member of NWCOA, now is a great time to get involved. We have just recently changed our membership levels to include more options for first-year professionals and business owners with multiple technicians who also want to reap the NWCOA membership benefits. These benefits include enhanced educational opportunities, various discount savings programs, legislative and regulatory advocacy efforts, access to a liability insurance program, and multiple ways to stay engaged and up-to-date. Learn more at NWCOA.com/Benefits.