Falls Church, VA — The Electronic Systems Professional Alliance (ESPA) will launch its new one-day review course and certification exam at the 2009 International CES in Las Vegas next January. The ESPA Certified-EST tests a technician candidate’s understanding of industry basics and is a true indicator of whether or not the technician is prepared for an electronic systems career.
“ESPA is creating an entry-level gateway by providing one set of fundamental best practices common to all industry organizations,” said Grant Mydland, executive director of ESPA. “After achieving EST certification, technicians get help from ESPA to pursue jobs and advanced training based on the industry vertical that appeals to them. By getting certified and broadening their skills, technicians can control their future and employers reap the benefits of a highly trained and productive workforce.”
Formed by the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA), the Custom Electronic Design & Installation Association (CEDIA) and the National Systems Contractors Association (NSCA), ESPA lays the groundwork for a career-ready technology workforce. Technicians, companies and the industry gain from enhanced reputations, satisfied customers, powerful expertise and a reduced turnover rate.
Avi Rosenthal, vice president of sales and marketing for Superna Inc., and chair of CEA’s TechHome Education Committee, added, “Certification gives us the ability to measure the amount of knowledge a person has in a given subject, however in a new industry, such as low-voltage integration, it also gives a sense of professionalism, dedication and technical excellence. Becoming certified is the best way to show you are serious about being a part of our industry and getting not just a job, but developing a career.”
Because ESPA is open to any and all electronics organizations, it has potential to become the common denominator for millions of workers seeking higher-wage technical careers. Plus the ESPA training and certification helps broaden the skills of current technicians, allowing residential companies to look to the commercial arena and vice-versa as they expand their businesses. This cross-pollination of technicians also helps companies work in different sectors such as structured wiring, distributed audio and video, satellite, theater rooms, lighting, security and life safety systems, and automation controls.
The U.S. Department of Labor has identified the electronic systems technician as a unique occupation as part of the 21st Century Workforce Initiative. “With the increasing consumer dependence on life-enhancing and life-saving technologies and the technicians required to install and maintain these systems, ESTs soon may be considered the official ‘fourth trade’ along with electricians, plumbers and HVAC professionals. ESTs already constitute one of the fastest growing professions in North America,” Mydland added.
The ESPA review course at CES will be held Saturday, January 10, from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. The exam runs that same day from 6-8 p.m. The ESPA Certified-EST covers five key domains: electrical basics, tools, construction methods and materials, wiring and installation practices, and standards, codes, and safety practices. Candidates can find out more about the program at www.espa.org and register for the course and exam at www.cesweb.org.