In early October, the Louisiana Life Safety and Security
Association (LLSSA) and the Electronic Security Association (ESA) started the
first group of students in the National Apprenticeship Program (NAP) on their
journey to becoming Protective Signal Installers in Louisiana.
This journey, known as apprenticeship, is the first of its
kind for ESA and is important to the growth of the life safety and security industry.
Apprenticeship helps to produce a workforce of efficient, professional and
dependable individuals who possess the certifications and experience needed to fulfill
the demand for Protective Signal Installers for years to come. O*NET, a source
for primary occupational information, has classified the Protective Signal
Installer career path as a "Bright Outlook” occupation that is expected to grow
by as much as 20 percent over the next few years.
ESA’s NAP blends a mix of training styles and content to
provide an engaging and customized curriculum that benefits both the apprentice
and the employer. Training is also customizable to meet the ever-changing
demands of the industry. Apprentices
complete 8,000 hours of on-the-job training and a minimum of 590 hours of online instruction
that focuses on theoretical, technical and professional concepts of the
industry, which helps create well-rounded employees.
To ensure complete mastery of each skill, apprentices work
with an assigned journey worker through the duration of the program. The
mentor-student relationship allows students to build confidence in their
technical skills while being supervised.
Both employers and apprentices benefit from this fast-paced,
comprehensive and interactive curriculum. Unlike traditional training methods,
ESA’s NAP educates apprentices on multiple technologies at the same time. This
allows employers the opportunity to pursue other avenues of business that would
be impossible without having a technician trained in a specific area, which
results in increased profitability.
Well-rounded and highly educated employees aren’t the only advantage
of the program. Employers can remain competitive on Davis-Bacon and Prevailing
Wage work by utilizing registered apprentices. The specialized pay scale gives employers the
opportunity to pay apprentices up to 50 percent less than the journey worker
wage rate on these types of jobs. This helps employers remain competitive in
the pursuit of projects, and apprentices are guaranteed incremental raises
throughout the program.
In addition to being a highly efficient form of training, ESA’s
NAP is also cost-effective for employers. Participating employers pay a nominal
monthly fee per apprentice that covers apprentices’ books, courses and
certifications as well as online CEUs to satisfy the accompanying journey
worker’s certification renewal requirements. Employers that invest in their
employees’ education through ESA’s NAP may also be eligible for tax benefits
and workforce development grants in some states. By investing in the continued
education of both the apprentice and journey worker, employers will see an
increase in employee productivity, safety and consistency, which can result in
higher profits for companies.
LLSSA will end its fall semester in December, but the
program isn’t slowing down. ESA’s NAP has big plans for the next year: In January,
a new class of apprentices in Louisiana will begin training and by December
2013, NAP hopes to launch apprenticeship programs with other ESA Chartered
To participate in the National Apprenticeship Program and
help ESA create the workforce of the future, contact Operations Manager of Training and Certification Tracy Dalrymple at 888-447-1689 ext. 6821 or by email at Tracy.Dalrymple@ESAweb.org.