ASTD celebrates its 60th anniversary in 2004. The seeds of the organization were sown in New Orleans, Louisiana during a training committee meeting of the American Petroleum Institute in 1942. The United States was at war, and training was critical to meeting the needs of increased production and replacing workers gone to war. The following year, a group of 15 „training men” met for the first board meeting of the American Society of Training Directors in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

They began to think on a national scope, and became the nucleus of a truly national group, which convened the ASTD membership for the first time in Chicago in 1945. Other local, regional, and industry-specific training groups gradually aligned with the new ASTD. At the 1946 convention, ASTD adopted a constitution that set as its goals: to raise the standards and prestige of the industrial training profession and to further the professional”s education and development.

Those goals have remained part of ASTD”s mission, even as the profession evolved and needs changed. Reflecting that progress, in 1964 the association changed its name to the American Society for Training and Development. In recent years, ASTD has widened its focus to connect learning and performance to measurable results. In 2000, the organization chose to refer to itself just by the letters ASTD, to recognize that the profession looks far beyond training in its quest to „create a world that works better.”

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