A New Look And Much More
Feb 1, 2002 12:00 PM, NATHANIEL HECHT
I HAVE OFTEN WRITTEN ABOUT THE VIRTUES OF MEMBERSHIP IN THE National Systems Contractors Association. The NSCA is the leading not-for-profit association representing the commercial electronic systems industry, with a membership of 2400 companies. The list of accomplishments that this organization has contributed on behalf of all who work in the low-voltage industry is a long one. I would risk repeating myself if I outlined what I think are the most valuable contributions that executive director Chuck Wilson and his staff have implemented. But it is worth noting that the release of the new NSCA Essentials CD-ROM marks another milestone in service to our industry.
The CD-ROM is a manual of practice designed to address the many challenges faced by contractors. It includes useful information and templates for installation and maintenance agreements, estimating worksheets, industry statistics for wage and compensation rates, labor installation standards and sample sales. Other resources include employee handbook information, sample job descriptions, state licensing and apprenticeship data, project tracking tools, service department management tools, SOC code and Division 17 information. In short, it has virtually everything needed to properly build and run the well-tempered contracting and installation business. It would be worth the price of membership just to obtain such a complete collection of business tools.
The release of the CD-ROM also marks an image change for NSCA. More than just a new logo, NSCA has a new series of directives, outlined in their new member resource guide. The theme is building connections between people, knowledge and new ideas — highlighting what the NSCA has been so good at in the past. To build upon this, the organization will continue to improve their already excellent educational offerings in all related areas of low-voltage contracting, not just audio. For example, during this April's Expo, there will be nine separate educational tracks focusing on varying technologies like security, lighting control and video.
NSCA also plans to expand its regional presence beyond the Expo and the Fall Business Conference via the regional leadership councils that are already established. The expansion plans dovetail nicely with the need for expanded outreach to related industry professionals in all phases of the construction trade. The NSCA will help forge relationships between industries by making resources available to architects, engineers, end users and construction industry professionals, who are all steadily becoming more aware of the need for services in electronic systems design and installation. It is clearly one of the goals of the NSCA to become a resource conduit between industries as the commercial electronic systems industry gains visibility.
As the Expo draws closer, you will be hearing more about these new initiatives in our Associations pages and in our expanded news section, “The Buzz.” In the meantime, you can get more information about NSCA online at nsca.org or call 800/446-NSCA (6722). The NSCA is always interested in what they can do to further assist the industry. To quote Chuck Wilson, “A big part of leadership is support, and we need to hear how we can best do that from those working out in the offices and on the job sites.” Here is your chance to help them help you.