NSCA: A Partner in Technical Training

You may find that, like many people in the industry, you need help in a big way and quickly. Our reports indicate a shortage of trained entry-level technicians
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NSCA: A Partner in Technical Training

Mar 1, 1998 12:00 PM

You may find that, like many people in the industry, you need help in a bigway and quickly. Our reports indicate a shortage of trained entry-leveltechnicians and installers. In most cases, well-trained professionals lackeither the time or an internal program for teaching fundamentals. Most ofus have tried to recruit trained people from a related industry. Many havehired people with no experience, hoping to groom new talent themselves.Anyone would be happy with either scenario if it works. In either case, itmakes sense to look outside your company for ways to teach the basics tothose new to this industry.

Industry statistics (according to the American Society of Training andDevelopment) reveal that the average business spends between 2% and 3% oftheir payroll for training. Considering the size of most companies in ourindustry, one would assume that most continuing education happens withoutan in-house training department because staffing a training department withqualified instructors and keeping costs reasonable is nearly impossible.

Moreover, it is imperative that continuing education and training be viewedas an investment, not a line item on the budget. Developing this strategyfor training is as important as sales forecasting and staffing. It is acritical factor in the development of a business plan and a definingelement in what products and services you will be successful at in thefuture.

Linking training to skill requirements, responsibilities and pay potentialis the real key to your organization's health. It may be the best incentiveto encourage employees to upgrade their skills, and it could very well bewhat creates the distinctive difference your company needs to succeed.

Experience has proved to me that employee satisfaction is tied to training.It sets the tone for the company, defines your commitment to its future andillustrates for your employees how they fit into the organization's plans.

Bringing experts into your company sends a signal to the employees that youare committed to the growth of the business. It is the environment wherepeople want to work and work hard. I've also learned that people outsidethe company tend to bring a new level of interest to hard-to-teach subjects.

This year, the NSCA introduces the Technical Fundamentals of Audio (TFA),designed specifically as a remedy for the frustration of a manager facedwith a shortage of people who understand the basics. Leading the regionalTFA program is Ted Uzzle, former editor of S&VC. Ted believes strongly thata solid foundation of basic knowledge is essential if you are to install,repair, design or sell in this business. TFA will be held in six regions ofthe United States and two regions in Canada in 1998. Matt Marth is workingon a number of new regional programs, including a hands-on installationschool at locations in each region, systems-based sales training, and theowners and managers conference.

If you see the benefits of outsourcing some of your training and have aproblem training new employees, you should look into this new regionalconcept. The NSCA website (http://www.nsca.org) has the information on thisand related association training programs. For those who have morelong-range issues with recruitment, the NSCA and eight other tradeassociations have formed an education consortium that will bring a programto the technical colleges sometime this year. Graduates will earn degreesin Electronics Systems Installation Technology.

The NSCA education staff, committee members, volunteers and board work veryhard to offer quality programs this industry demands. We invite you toattend an event in your area and welcome your input regarding your specificneeds. Help us elevate the skills of those in our industry.

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