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National Apprenticeship Program Prepares Workforce for the Future

Posted By Jeaneen Tierney, Wednesday, June 20, 2012
Tracy DalrympleWell-trained and experienced workers are in high demand in every industry. The Electronic Security Association (ESA) created the National Apprenticeship Program (NAP) to help its members meet this growing demand. The four-year program, which was federally recognized in Sept. 2011 by the U.S. Department of Labor, was designed to aid in the development of a competitive and highly skilled workforce for the security industry.

Each selected apprentice will receive on-the-job training from a qualified journeyworker, as well as related coursework to ensure a broad understanding of the trade. Upon completion, apprentices will be certified Protective Signal Installers capable of installing, testing and maintaining the most complex fire and alarm systems.

NAP Manager Tracy Dalrymple has been with ESA since March 2012. She has worked in the association industry for 16 years. During a brief question-and-answer session, Dalrymple says she believes NAP will make a significant difference for the security industry in the years to come.

What is the National Apprenticeship Program and how is it different from other training programs?

The ESA National Apprenticeship Program is designed to help establish a recognized profession (Protective Signal Installer) for the security industry. This occupation is a new career path that has been classified as a Bright Outlook occupation through the Occupational Information Network (O*NET) and is expected to grow rapidly in the next several years.

Unlike other training programs, NAP’s curriculum is driven by the electronic security industry’s needs and changing requirements. NAP puts apprentices on the fast-track to attaining the training and experience needed to become successful installers.

Who is eligible for an apprenticeship?

Applicants must be at least 18 years of age and have either a high school diploma or GED equivalent. Qualified applicants will also need to be physically capable of performing the essential functions of the program, with or without reasonable accommodation.

What type of training methods are used in the program?

National Apprenticeship ProgramThe apprenticeship program uses a series of publications, materials, online and classroom instruction, hands-on labs, and on-the-job learning. Upon completion of the program, apprentices will have attained the required hours to become a certified Protective Signal Installer: 8,000 on-the-job learning hours and 590 hours of related instruction.

How does NAP benefit employers who choose to participate?

The apprenticeship training program provides employers with a pipeline of skilled workers with industry-specific training and valuable hands-on experience. Because of the extensive curriculum, apprentices often produce higher quality, dependable and more efficient work than individuals who have not had formalized training.

Since NAP’s curriculum is highly flexible and covers all aspects of fire and security, training can be customized to meet the employer’s needs. This will give employers the ability to expand their business into new markets. Additionally, employers participating in NAP may be eligible for state benefits such as tax credits and workforce development grants.

How will NAP contribute to the growth of the security industry?

NAP educates apprentices beyond the technical aspect of fire and security. By providing this type of training, NAP creates well-rounded employees with a firm grasp on the purpose behind the security industry.

As a federally recognized and approved program, NAP will bring necessary uniformity to the industry through standardizing the trade. Certifications earned through a registered apprenticeship program like NAP are recognized nationwide and are portable.

Individuals interested in applying for the apprenticeship program should visit for an application and more information on the program.

Employers interested in participating in the program can get more information by contacting Tracy Dalrymple at

Tags:  apprenticeship  NAP  National Apprenticeship  workforce 

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