The average NSCA member has at least seven open positions at any given time (nationally, this equals 17,000 open positions). Current industry training programs, such as ESPA, fill only 600 (3.5%) of these positions each year.
To help solve this problem, IGNITE was unveiled at the Business & Leadership Conference in 2016. Its focus is to showcase the industry and its career opportunities to jobseekers, students, and educational institutions. IGNITE also provides marketing materials to high schools/tech colleges and ambassadors (90+ people who have agreed to support IGNITE), and provides materials to industry professionals who want to speak locally about industry career opportunities. IGNITE also hosts an industry-specific job board.
The next phase of IGNITE was unveiled at the 2018 Business & Leadership Conference: a work-study program benefitting both employers and interns. Subsidized in part by the NSCA Education Foundation, this program will provide summer internships (between eight and 12 weeks) for students so they can experience the many different positions in our industry. Each IGNITE ambassador company can apply for reimbursement of between $1,000 and $2,000 to offset the wages associated with hiring an intern. In addition, each company will have free access to NSCA industry training materials, including:
- Certificate as a Systems Integration Professional (C-SIP) courses
- Technical Assessment Tool evaluations
Here’s how the internship process will work:
- Phase 1: Onboarding. During this time, interns gain an understanding of your business as a whole, spending at least one day in each department to understand its inner workings and how each department impacts the others. The intern then reports on what he/she has learned (which may be helpful for you to hear, too).
- Phase 2: Ride & Decide. For a five-week period, interns will gain specific skills and knowledge to spark interest in our industry. They’ll receive in-depth exposure to three specific departments and career paths of their choosing. Their tasks will be a mix of job-specific activities and soft skills training. After this is complete, the intern reports on what he/she has learned, and works with you to determine their areas of interest.
- Phase 3: Learn & Earn. Through the use of NSCA’s C-SIP program, interns gain relevant experience and credentials in sales, operations, marketing/social media, or project management. Once they complete this program, the intern once again reports on what he/she has learned, honing in even more on interests and skill sets.
- Phase 4: Real-World Application. At this point, the intern has chosen a specific area or department that appeals to them most. For two weeks, they spend 80% to 90% of their time on projects in that area. They also craft an essay that documents what they’ve learned in regards to quality, performance, process improvement, and personal growth. In this final phase, the intern reports one last time on what he/she has learned – with an explanation of how they see themselves fitting in at your company.
If you’re interested in learning more, becoming an IGNITE ambassador, or hosting an intern as part of this program, contact us!