GIA and JA Form Strategic Partnership

The Gemological Institute of America and Jewelers of America said they have agreed to work together on a variety of projects, starting in 2009, to better fulfill the missions of both nonprofit organizations and directly benefit their constituencies.

The two institutions will collaborate in the following areas:

* GIA will give JA members special access to GIA’s professional education in gemology, business management, sales professionalism, and bench jeweler training. GIA is also in the process of making much of its curricula available via its web-based eLearning platform, so that JA members who can no longer afford time out-of-store to attend on-site learning events will still be able to educate themselves and their sales associates in an efficient and cost-effective manner.

* JA will contribute its expertise in the certification of bench jewelers. It will work with GIA’s Jewelry Arts Program to assist in the promotion and fulfillment elements of the Jewelers of America Bench Professional Certification program, which will undergo a complete overhaul in 2009.

* GIA will continue to develop and promote consumer education materials to explain diamond grading, the Four Cs of diamond quality, colored stones, pearls, and other specialized information. These materials can help support JA members’ professional image, and increase consumers’ understanding of fine jewelry. 

* JA will share its expertise in public and national government affairs with GIA in the form of timely communications and background materials when business responsibility issues arise in the jewelry supply chain or the public sector.

GIA and JA also plan to cooperate in the area of career development and to attract more and better job candidates to the jewelry industry. Both organizations have established scholarship programs, career information projects, and other similar services. The two groups also have a shared interest in enhancing cultural diversity in the industry.