EduCode began in the mid-1990’s as an idea when the Southern Nevada Chapter of the International Conference of Building Officials (ICBO) officers and members met to discuss the training needs for the Chapter in Southern Nevada.
The Chapter officials said let’s “go big.” The plan was to develop a multi-day format and a three day training program was proposed. Greg Franklin, then of the Clark County Building Department, and past ICBO Chapter President, was the first chair of our “Institute.”
The planning for the first program began in 1997. The first training program was called “Annual Code Education Institute” and was held February 10-13, 1998 at the Riviera Hotel and Casino, Las Vegas, NV. The seminar set up the following tracks:
- Architectural Plan Review
- Building Inspections
- Combination Inspections
- Fire Prevention
- Performance Based Fire Protection
- Structural Inspection, Quality Assurance and Design
- Structural Special Inspections
“While serving as vice president of the Chapter, I had the opportunity to arrange for local technical training once or twice a year,” Franklin said. “We held these at different locales, including the Fire Department Training Center and McCarran Airport. I enjoyed arranging this and spoke with both Ron Lynn and Bob Weber as my supervisors that I would like to work on developing a regional and even national training program after I completed my executive board duties.
“Also, I had attended the Technical Training Program hosted by the Colorado Chapter,” Franklin said, “and was very impressed with their program. But I felt we had the opportunity to provide equal or better training expertise and by hosting it in Las Vegas, we would have even better success because of the city’s offerings and the much better spring weather than most other locations.
“So with this idea, we hosted a Technical Seminar in year one, held at the Riviera Hotel, and then we renamed it to EduCode, developed our logo and the program built on itself each year. I served as the EduCode Committee Chairman for seven years. I truly enjoyed developing the programs and working with the many hard working volunteers that allowed the program to happen each year.
“Just a few more things to close out the EduCode background,” Franklin said. “When we started, we felt we could grow the program if we applied 3 basic ideals:
– Provide only the best technical instruction available. Pursue the best instructor for the topic.
– Provide technical instruction to the national codes – NOT modified by local amendments. Attendees would not come from outside jurisdictions across the country if we taught local amended codes, and
– Maintain the same dates as close as possible each year, allowing attendees to plan and schedule their attendance a year in advance which is often necessary with government agencies, and further it allowed us to “sell” Las Vegas in the spring, when our weather was good and many other places across the country were not.
“We did stick with these ideals and the program did grow accordingly. Another ideal grew internally as the program developed, and that was to partner with local chapters of national organizations and in some cases directly with the national organization of technical code groups, such as Electrical Inspectors Org., Plumbing Inspectors Assoc., Code Enforcement, etc. Through this partnership, the chapters benefited financially and were able to obtain regularly scheduled training of high caliber and EduCode benefited with higher attendance and more diverse program.
“Also, in starting out, we established what our primary achievement goals were from EduCode. These were:
– Provide excellent, national level training in a local environment to ensure high attendance from each of the local jurisdictions’ department staff.
– Use any proceeds to provide further training necessary for local code amendment training and fund participation in the national code development process and business applications; and
– Use any additional monies made to further the profession of the code official through meetings/classes with industry; outreach programs to local schools and technical institutes; and sponsorship of college tuition for local students pursuing applicable degree programs.
“After seven-plus years of working as the chairman and lead for EduCode,” said Franklin, ‘it was my idea to step down and develop a means by which the elected executive board would provide lead for the committee and future growth of EduCode. I felt this important because while I had ideas and missions and goals, I did not want EduCode to become just what I and a few long term committee members saw for it. So we developed a turn-over of duties in its eighth year and the executive committee began direct involvement to provide steering for its continued development and growth. I remained actively involved for a few more years with the committee and running a management track before mostly stepping aside. This allowed me time to actively participate as a member of the National Education Committee for ICC, where I served for four years.
“We addressed many problems and concerns thru the development and growth years of EduCode.” Franklin continued, “but I firmly believe that through the strong commitment of each jurisdiction’s Building Official to allow participation of their employees as committee volunteers, we accomplished many great things with very little funding. That, and adherence to our established ideals and goals, allowed us to each year grow and become more of a professional presentation. I fully believe that the professionals that continue to work in the SNICC will continue with this diligence and only improve upon the program.
“Again,” said Franklin, “we started on a shoestring. I remember signing the first contracts with ICBO for their instructors and just their costs far exceeded the total savings of the Chapter. Through special arrangements with the Riviera we were able to defer all costs until after the seminar when we had collected the attendance fees. But there were days that I was pretty nervous.
“There are so many people who made EduCode what it was and is today and to try and name them all is not within my scope today. But it is thru such dedication of volunteers and professionals committed to technical growth and knowledge that will carry this program forward.”
Franklin named several people he thought deserve special recognition for their contributions to EduCode over the years.
“First,” said Franklin, “both Bob Weber and Ron Lynn (of the Clark County Department of Building and Fire Prevention) fully supported my actions and allowed me some of the time necessary to complete the arrangements. Also, the one committee member that was with me and all future committee chairs was Bill Laub of Southwest Gas Corp. From our first arrangements with the Riviera, to developing the logo, to creating a website and ultimately an on line registration, Bill served tirelessly. It was great to have an industry rep alongside during these development years,” Franklin concluded.
Bill Laub continues to contribute every year to the success of EduCode. He earned the nickname “Mr. EduCode.”
In 2003, then-President Mohammad Jadid of the City of Henderson Building and Fire Safety Department renamed the Chapter’s Industry Associate Member of the Year award in Laub’s honor – the Bill Laub Industry Associate Member of the Year award – to recognize Laub’s significant and outstanding contributions to the success of EduCode.
In the 2000s, EduCode has continued to grow bigger and better thanks to significant support by all those involved – the education partners, sponsors, attendees and instructors, exhibitors and our outstanding team of volunteers.
The Orleans Hotel & Casino Conference Center has become the venue for EduCode.
In 2021, EduCode was forced to go “all-virtual” because of the COVID-19 pandemic, which forced businesses and government offices to close and implement restrictions on employees and customers. Despite some minor technical glitches, which were quickly resolved, the 2021 event was deemed a great success.
2022 will be the 25th anniversary of the EduCode conference and expo.