The National Association of Webmasters

Press Release

October 2, 1997

For immediate release

 

Contact: Bill Cullifer
Executive Director
National Association of Webmasters
[email protected]
(916) 929-6557

National Association of Webmasters Plans to Advance Its "Urban Entrepreneurs" Initiative at Seybold Conference

Folsom, CA-- October 2, 1997: The National Association of Webmasters announced today that it has been invited to co-sponsor this Fall's Seybold Seminars, September 29-October 3, 1997, at Moscone Center in San Francisco. NAW's current priority is its leadership of a consortium that locates bright, motivated young people from impoverished neighborhoods, sponsors their certification training as webmasters, and then finds full- or part-time jobs for them with for-profit companies doing website design, maintenance and support.

"The Seybold Seminars and San Francisco's Mayor Brown are the perfect partners for our next venture," said Bill Cullifer, Executive Director of NAW. "Seybold is known as one of the most comprehensive and respected gatherings for Internet professionals in the world, and Willie Brown's home page (http://www.webcom.com/boysclub/willie.htm) was designed by kids from the Columbia Park Boys and Girls Club! We're very grateful to the Seybold Organization for helping us to bring our program to San Francisco."

Annick Baudot, Marketing Director of the Seybold Seminars noted that non-profit trade associations make the best catalysts for far-reaching efforts like NAW's urban entrepreneurs program. "Industry, education, and individuals all look to organizations like NAW for trends and recommendations. We're pleased to support an effort that not only helps young adults from the inner-city, but also proposes standards for the webmaster job and helps schools solve a thorny problem as well." "San Francisco has always used technology creatively to solve urban problems," said Willie L. Brown, Jr., Mayor of San Francisco. "This is another example of the City taking a leadership role in connecting low-income young people with high-growth industry. Everyone wins."

NAW's first venture in fostering "urban entrepreneurship" (http://www.asw.org/ asw_mentor_release.html) was in Boston last month with CitySoft, a Web development firm in its start-up phase, and Net Guru Technologies, Inc., an Internet training and certification company which endorses and works with NAW. Together, they put together the first inner-city training program and certified two young webmasters in full-day sessions. The program was so successful that NAW is currently committed to taking it nationwide.

Since August, NAW has received support from such diverse organizations as the National Foundation for Teaching Entrepreneurship, DCI's Internet Expo, and the City of New York, in addition to the Seybold Seminars. "This venture is taking on the dimensions of a natural phenomenon, like three heavenly bodies lining up for the first time in a thousand years," Cullifer said. "The 'heavenly bodies' are the emergence of the Web itself and its implications for almost every area of our lives, the White House's call for bringing all public schools on line by 2000, and statistics which indicate that high-tech, Web-related jobs are going begging. Ever since we announced our intention to promote "urban entrepreneurship," we have experienced overwhelming positive response. We're on a path to engage and support every major city and school district in the country with the help of educators, web technology trainers and social welfare organizations."

Citing the September, 1997, issue of Family PC (http://www1.zdnet.com/familypc/ content/9708/schoolpc/darkdays.html), Cullifer noted that, in addition to the obvious social welfare benefits of the program, the NAW initiative takes aim at two problems unique to the Web: As a result of the President's "NetDays," and similar programs, schools are rapidly being equipped with computers, modems, software, cabling, and even scan converters to let computers connect to TVs for classroom viewing. But there is often no budget to train full-time administrators or computer coordinators, and schools can't begin to take advantage of the high-tech gear or the vast educational potential offered by the Internet without the help of people trained in Internet technology. The second problem he noted is that "high-tech and especially webmaster jobs are going begging for lack of qualified candidates. Schools need webmasters; companies need webmasters; inner-city young adults need jobs. That's what this is all about."

Cullifer also mentioned that 90% or more of all working webmasters are self-taught. "That means that employers are effectively taking pot-luck when they invite webmaster candidates in for interviews. The best way for the industry's trade association to help is for us to develop a standard curriculum that leads to certification. We think employers will soon put phrases like 'CPW credential preferred' in their ads," he said, referring to NAW's Certified Professional Webmaster program. "The webmasters we're training with the help of Seybold Seminars and other partners are among the first to receive what we hope will become the industry-standard training program."

The National Association of Webmasters was founded in 1996 by professionals with proven track records in education, data-processing, Internet consulting, telecommunications and marketing. The purpose of the Association is to support and enhance the role of individuals and organizations who create, manage or market web sites. In addition to webmaster certification training, NAW provide educational, technical, employment and member advantage services. The Association is located at 9580 Oak Avenue Parkway, Suite 7-177, Folsom, CA, 95630. Visit NAW at the Seybold Seminars in Booth # 132 or contact them online any time at www.naw.org or by telephone at (916) 929-6557.