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On the Circut

If your company is in need of good entry-level talent—or if you wish to help cultivate entry-level talent—consider these two conversations I had this week.

On the Circut

Dec 21, 2011 11:05 AM,
By Cynthia Wisehart

If your company is in need of good entry-level talent—or if you wish to help cultivate entry-level talent—consider these two conversations I had this week: NSCA Executive Director Chuck Wilson often raises the flag that if future jobs go primarily to IT graduates, vital AV skills are in danger of being lost. With this in mind, he says NSCA has recently revived its long-standing commitment to the Electronic Systems Professional Alliance (ESPA). Along with CEDIA and CEA, NSCA and its Education Foundation invest in ESPA’s Electronic Systems Technicians certification program.

This pre-employment program, Wilson explains, identifies high school students with the interest and aptitude to become AV professionals, then trains and certifies them through various methods—online, through local trade schools, and even right in their own high schools. Part of ESPA’s work involves getting EST curriculum into high schools and trade schools so that young people understand the career exists, are inspired to pursue it, and receive training that readies them for the industry.

Further, the Veterans Administration recognizes the ESPA program and will pay for returning vets to pursue EST training and certification. For more information, go to or contact ESPA to find out how to employ EST-certified technicians and/or help introduce EST curriculum into your local trade schools and high schools.

My other related conversation this week was at home. Electrosonic is participating in an innovative apprenticeship program through its client JP Morgan and a London-based job-brokerage service called Skillsmatch. Supported by Canary Wharf Group and working with a range of strategic partners, Skillsmatch offers recruitment solutions to companies looking to source new staff and to job seekers wishing to secure sustainable employment. JP Morgan has made a commitment to work with Skillsmatch to ensure local people and businesses benefit from their move to the East London borough.

So when Electrosonic won the contract for JP Morgan’s new Canary Wharf building, they jointly held a recruitment and selection event with Skillsmatch to appoint young, local apprentice installers. Starting next month, the candidates will take part in a six-month audiovisual apprenticeship program with Electrosonic, working in-part on the JP Morgan project, both in Electrosonic offices and onsite. At the end of the six months, Electrosonic intends to offer six individuals a full-time entry-level position.

These are just two examples of the kind of mutually beneficial partnerships and funding opportunities that can help connect companies to the next generation of talent. Is there a local veterans, government, or trade-association program in your area that you can tap into? And if you already have, let me know.

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