Hello to the leaders, experts, and influencers of the maintenance community!

It has been a few years since we last communicated, please allow me to reintroduce myself. I’m Caitlyn Young-Gilbert – a proud CMRP and founder of UpKeep’s Maintenance Community (TMC). Some of you may remember me in the early days of TMC when we created The Maintenance Community Slack group overnight in response to the pandemic in 2020. Since then, TMC has hosted hundreds of free educational webinars, connected thousands of professionals and given away a prize or two! While my role has been more in the background this last year, I’m THRILLED to be taking a more hands on role as the new Head of Impact at UpKeep.

I wanted to send this note to lay out the strategic vision of The Maintenance Community moving forward, explain changes you’ll start to see online and share how you can be involved. 

At the end of 2022, we spent time assessing TMC programming with one question in mind, “Are we having the most positive impact we could at this time?”

Naturally, this pushed us to our next question, “How can we as an organization meet the needs of our industries?” To answer that, we had to ask lots and lots of questions, but no longer just internally amongst ourselves. We had to do what we did in 2020 and listen to the community. What we discovered informed our strategic vision for 2023 and beyond:

First, the most pressing issue on everyone’s mind in our community is the impending skills gap. 

We all know the statistics, but if you need a refresher you could read the 2018 Deloitte and The Manufacturing Institute Skills Gap and Future of Work Study here or listen to Why We Need to Bridge the Maintenance “Skill Gap” Now here. We also do know that big, influential organizations like SMRP are working tirelessly on large scale interventions to systematically fix the pipeline issues in the long term. We commend their work and want to continue to partner whenever possible.

We came to a different realization on how we can best support the work to bridge the skills gap. Our community is filled with people who don’t just hear these statistics and lament. Individuals in our community have been doing what they can, where they can, to be part of the solution for decades now. There are retired professionals offering free courses to ensure their knowledge is accessible to anyone who could benefit from it, leaders volunteering their time to teach young people the skills of our trades at afterschool programs, and others who, even with demanding personal and work schedules, find time to answer questions to help out a fellow community member on Linkedin.

It’s our belief that our community doesn’t need us to be another content generating organization or large-scale lobbying group. The skills gap crisis ahead of us will be solved by leveraging BOTH these large-scale, systemic overhauls AND supporting the people on the ground working on the smallest of scales to better their teams and those around them. Facilitating these small-scale initiatives is where we see our best opportunity to have the most positive impact. Our industries are filled with fixers, builders, problem solvers.  The same people who fix, build and sustain everything in the human-built world are the same ones we as an organization want to empower and support. From within, the people of the maintenance community have the ability to take small actions that have long-lasting impact. 

So where do we come in? 

On behalf of UpKeep’s Community team, I’m proud to officially launch The Maintenance Community Coalition (TMCC). TMCC provides all of the overhead and logistical support required to organize opportunities that provide tangible, positive impact in the lives of community members, while also being easily accessible for members to participate and give-back; think donating those spare industry books you no longer use to a fellow community member, volunteering to speak at a virtual “Career Day” for kids, or answering a one-off maintenance question that’s been troubling a fellow member for weeks.  Our goal is to help anyone, no matter their status or affluence, answer, “How can I, as an individual, make a difference for the people in our industries?”  By joining us in support of this mission, you are a member of the coalition! By sharing ways you are already giving back and allowing others to join in, you are part of the coalition! By spreading the word and participating, you are part of the coalition! 

Our priority is to create or support programs that are aligned with what our community tells us they need, not what we, at UpKeep, think should be out in the world. As a member of The Maintenance Community Coalition, UpKeep will be a leading contributor of resources including employee volunteer hours and funding, but we hope to be one of many partners in this endeavor.

Our Purpose

TMCC as a whole is committed to helping individuals thrive in their professional journeys by providing access to resources, sharing expertise, granting scholarships, hosting events, and unlocking knowledge. Why? Because the future of our industries depends on us working together to bridge the skills gap, one person at a time.  Put simply, we are looking for partners to join us in giving back to move maintenance forward.

What changes can you expect?

TMCC Giveback Group
This group will be/is A member-led LinkedIn Group completely focused on offering or requesting support. Members can browse this group to see what resources or offers are available to them, or request a specific piece of advice or assistance from their fellow members. 

Things that can be posted here:

-Free or discounted access to otherwise paid resources like courses, books, software, coaching, etc.

-Connection opportunities like meet-ups or conferences with either free or discounted tickets

-Offers to connect or answer questions

-Requests for advice and tips 

Things that will not be approved:
Promotion simply for promotions sake will no longer be approved in this group to keep this page focused on giving back and seeking help. If you have a new podcast episode out or a full-priced conference you hope to promote, this will be posted on the TMCC News page.

TMCC News LinkedIn Page
TMCC News is where promotional content and full-price resources will be shared. This page has a following of 3k industry professionals.  In order for your promotional posts to be shared, you must first become a Coalition member by offering a give-back resource to the community in 2023. By giving back to your fellow community members, you are officially part of the Coalition and can request any promotions be shared in the TMCC news page for the calendar year. 

Where do you come in?

Each month or so we will send Call To Action (CTA) Spotlights with opportunities to join one of our ongoing campaigns.

Attached to this email you will find our very first organized initiative of 2023 – the Coalition Collection Library.  If you are an expert in the field and a published author, TMCC is looking to purchase your industry relevant books in bulk in order to provide them free of charge to professionals who would otherwise not have access. In order for your books to be purchased through this campaign, however, we ask that you partner with us via one of the options listed in the attached CTA spotlights!

Of course, you are always more than welcome to give back in a different way outside of our current campaign. Please feel free to either post your give back offer in the Give-Back Group on your own or reach out to us at community@onupkeep.com if you’re hoping to organize a bigger campaign surrounding your idea.  

Know of a way we can make an impact in the community but don’t necessarily have the resources to start the project yourself? Email us at community@onupkeep.com.
Thank you so much for all of the past, present and future work you’ve done in support of our industries! I cannot wait to give back to move maintenance forward, together for years to come!

Caitlyn Young-Gilbert
Head of Impact