FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: February 28, 2011
Weights and Measures: Educating Today for Tomorrow
Weights and measures inspectors are rising to the challenge of new technologies in the marketplace. Technology can pass us by in the blink of an eye and the latest innovations in weighing and measurement are no exception. For regulatory officials who are responsible for oversight of software driven electronics that measure our fuel and weigh our food, education is always a top priority. In recognition of their dedication and importance to our society, the Department of Commerce/Weights and Measures Division celebrates Weights and Measures Week, Weights and Measures: Educating Today for Tomorrow, March 1-7, 2011.
"This date is significant. It marks the signing of the first weights and measures law by John Adams on March 2, 1799," said Mark Buccelli, Director from Minnesota. "During the 106 year history of the National Council on Weights and Measures (NCWM), we have seen advancements from mechanical devices to highly sophisticated software-based weighing and measuring instruments. Today's inspectors represent a new generation of highly trained officials with expertise ranging from software security to motor fuel chemistry."
Weights and Measures week is also an opportunity to educate consumers, businesses and lawmakers about the quiet but systematic effort of the state and local weights and measures officials who have instilled so much trust in our marketplace. Americans seldom question the quantity statement on a package, the scale at a check stand, or the gallons they put into their cars and even fewer would know who is responsible for instilling that confidence.
"This year, NCWM is focused on education," said Buccelli, "education for service technicians, education for inspectors, education for the businesses, and education for consumers. We must not overlook this important element of government in our society. Without it, the trust is gone and the honest businesses will fall victim to dishonest competition."
Weights and Measures Week serves as a reminder of the value that our society receives for a very small investment in Weights and Measures inspection programs. The cost of a regulatory presence varies from state to state, but averages around 70 cents per person per year. Yet we can realize the full return on that investment in a single trip to the market or gas station.
The NCWM is a professional nonprofit association of state and local weights and measures officials, federal agencies, manufacturers, retailers and consumers. NCWM has developed national weights and measures standards since 1905. The organization brings the right interests together to keep pace with innovative advancements in the marketplace.