In reflecting on the past year, the Electronic Systems Professional Alliance’s Jeff Gardner noted that the entry-level certification organization added several new training partners and 40 percent more exams from the previous year.
“Awareness of the program grew substantially through articles in all of the industry trade publications, and a leading CTE magazine (TechEd),” Gardner said. “We also played a key role in the creation of a white paper for CABA (Continental Automated Building Association) focusing on the rapid growth of the industry, the critical need for qualified people, and how this training gap can be bridged.
ESPA also launched a completely new training platform with “huge potential, nationally.”
“As we all know, there are concerted efforts at both the federal and state levels to get more people trained and certified for technology jobs,” Gardner said. “We worked with an Indiana career center to beta test a fast-track program for adults looking for a new career with more potential than their current employment. Central Nine Career Center offered the ESPA curriculum and certification in a format that allowed students to attend two nights a week for 10 weeks.”
During the 10 weeks, Central Nine covers all of the ESPA material, including the recommended hands-on skills, and then take the exam. The first class had five participants, mostly sent over from the state workforce development agency. This success led to a second session in the fall with 10 participants.
“We hope to share this instructional framework with any school or agency that wishes to emulate it in other states,” Gardner said.
The Alliance also released two new “ESPA Success Stories” featuring graduates and where they are in their career path a few years after becoming certified. One found his pathway in commercial work and one in security systems.
ESPA has several initiatives in the works for 2018, including direct marketing to career centers and tech schools, as well as administrators of adult training at state agencies. “We will be updating the certification exam and working hand in hand with several schools who are building brand new electronic systems integration classes,” Gardner said.
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