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ESA’s National Apprenticeship Program Helps Create a Strong Industry Workforce

Posted By Jeaneen Bengtson, Wednesday, October 24, 2012

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 Chapters.

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

Tags:  apprenticeship  LLSSA  NAP 

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