Apprenticeship Program Wins Federal Approval
Feb 1, 2002 12:00 PM
An apprenticeship program for electronic systems technicians has been formally approved and will soon be available. After years of lobbying toward this goal, the NSCA will administer the federal program.
The new apprenticeship program allows companies to train employees on the skill set of electronic systems contracting using both classroom and on-the-job experience, creating a formalized, 4-year career track.
“The development of this program involved hundreds of hours of work, and we are very pleased with the result,” said Tom Frericks, president of NSCA and Copp Systems Integrator in Dayton, Ohio. “Thousands of technicians will benefit from it.”
Perseverance Pays Off
The effort to implement an apprenticeship program for ESTs began in 1998 when the Consortium for Electronic Systems Technician Training began work on a curriculum for classroom instruction of ESTs. A member of the Consortium, the NSCA brought the materials to the U.S. Bureau of Apprenticeship and Training; however, competing programs in other industries slowed the approval process.
Fortunately, the U.S. Department of Labor established a Standard Occupation Code for ESTs in March 2001, which advanced NSCA's apprenticeship program. “The SOC differentiates our industry from other construction professions. That and the testimonials of numerous other associations involved in the Consortium helped convince the BAT how important this apprenticeship program really is,” said Jeff Quint, NSCA executive vice president.
Thanks to funds from the NSCA Education Foundation, the NSCA will help companies implement and maintain the 4-year apprenticeship program.
A Significant Time for Technicians
The past year has seen giant leaps for the electronic systems industry, of which the apprenticeship program is only the latest. The new SOC, the inclusion of curricula at many community colleges, and the expansion of the Construction Specifications Institute's MasterFormat to include separate divisions for communications and life safety systems are also recent industry victories.
Said Quint, “The apprenticeship program will help contractors achieve two of their biggest goals: winning jobs and maintaining qualified employees.”
For more information, contact the NSCA at 800/446-6722 firstname.lastname@example.org. Or contact your local BAT representative.
About the Consortium:The Consortium for Electronic Systems Technician Training is a 501©(6) not-for-profit corporation, incorporated in the Commonwealth of Virginia. Regular membership is confined to not-for-profit associations and business leagues that have as members companies that manufacture or install electronic systems. For more information visithightechjobs.org.
For more information or to register for these events, contact the NSCA at 800/446-6722 ornsca.org.
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