The NSCA Education Foundation has experienced high levels of excitement and growth this past year as a result of your continued support. Here, we share a progress update and report on several recent accomplishments – as well as show you some of the NSCA Education Foundation’s plans for 2017.
The IGNITE program is receiving major industry attention. This outreach program, which helps build industry awareness and fill the void we anticipate in the coming years, is under the direction of board members Kelly Perkins, Lauren Simmen, Mike Shinn, and Laurie Englert.
IGNITE has completed more than a dozen college visits across the United States to date, with special thanks to AVI Systems for hosting and raising nearly $20,000 at the August golf outing in Minneapolis to benefit IGNITE.
What’s in store next for IGNITE? We’re about to redesign our online career center so it takes on a more “IGNITE-like” approach in terms of graphics and messaging. Our target will be active jobseekers who aren’t already in our industry – or who are in adjacent industries – as well as veterans and students. This is a huge undertaking; together, we can make it happen.
As of today, we have 78 IGNITE ambassadors presenting the IGNITE program across North America. One of our IGNITE ambassadors, Robert Hammond with Stage Front, recently presented about the IGNITE program to an ESPA-affiliated vocational rehab center and had this to say about his unique experience:
“It went great! There was a good turnout of around 50 people, mixed between students and faculty. We spent about 35 minutes on the presentation and 25 minutes on Q&A. They are a bright group with tremendous eagerness to learn. The school is very interested in internship opportunities for the students, specifically in the Atlanta area. If we can just get one or two students placed, I am confident that we will get the school and the statewide Georgia Vocational Rehabilitation program to be lifetime supporters of NSCA. I can’t wait to get local NSCA member companies involved! There is also interest in doing these types of talks at other schools. It was a pleasure doing this talk.”
With your support, IGNITE materials will be going out next month to the top 250 STEM high schools in the United States, as well as many of the technical colleges throughout North America next month.
ESPA (Electronic Systems Professional Alliance)
News about the ITT Technical Institute shut down has us slightly worried about the private, for-profit colleges – but, even so, we’re pacing 50% ahead of last year in student numbers and those taking the C-EST exam. As the primary funder of ESPA, the NSCA Education Foundation is happy to report that ESPA recently set a new record at Lincoln Tech in Union, NJ, where 34 students tested and 33 passed with a 97% pass rate – the highest pass rate recorded since the program started.
ESPA is always looking for a local college or career center interested in starting a program. The ESPA program is perfect as a way to pump new life into existing legacy electronics programs that are struggling. Many are being eliminated as the curriculum hasn’t been updated to reflect our “systems, networked, and IT-centric world.” With your support, we are getting great press like this recent article published about ESPA and how it ties into the overarching IGNITE program.
NEW IN 2016: THE HESTER SCHOLARSHIP
Announced by Mr. & Mrs. Hester at the 2016 Business & Leadership Conference, the Hester Scholarship is a veteran-focused program. The scholarship has already received 19 applications from ex-military who are looking to explore our industry as their next career move. Most applicants are 24-30 years old and previously served one stint in a semi-related field. We are excited about where this program could lead us. Thanks so much to the Hester family!
Interested recipients can contact NSCA for more information. And, if you want to help fund this program, let us know.
PIVOT TO PROFIT
More than 175 people benefitted from NSCA Education Foundation’s help developing the curriculum and providing financial support to attend this great new event. Without your support, Pivot to Profit conference registration would have cost twice as much, causing many to miss this opportunity for continued education and awareness.
ONGOING SCHOLARSHIP PROGRAMS
Many other programs, including the Randy Vaughan scholarship, have been funded this year by the NSCA Education Foundation through your support. This continues to allow people to gain insight and further their careers in this industry.
PARTNER ALLIANCE FOR SAFER SCHOOLS (PASS K-12)
There hasn’t been much in the news lately about PASS, but our members who install emergency communications systems are making a big difference for schools. The NSCA Education Foundation gave $10,000 to start PASS K-12 making it possible to make this happen. Below is a note from Guy Grace, director of security and emergency planning for Littleton Public Schools.
“I recently gave a presentation to a committee of community members reviewing the Arapahoe School Shooting aftermath. For part of the presentation, I utilized the PASS positions and then took them on a tour of security operations to show how we implemented the tiers. I also talked to them on how building tiers helps us to continually evolve with the times. They were blown away by the PASS recommendations and the implementations to the tier approach. I felt so good after what I thought was going to be a stoic meeting. As stated, following good concepts and guidance is very helpful for districts like mine who may be dealing with tragedies, or for districts who don’t want to have this happen to them. PASS is helping us rebuild and recover at the same time (just my two cents). I can’t imagine that the concept won’t benefit all other districts – 30 years of this and I have never felt so empowered. The PASS format is working for me to get more funding for the security improvements. Our community loves it and feels we are spending their tax dollars appropriately.”
By creating these guidelines and risk assessment tools, we have empowered Guy, and people like him, to better understand the technology that allows them to find and work with professional integrators and consultants who implement best practices and solutions. It’s been a great thing and so rewarding to see that we are using our knowledge and expertise to make schools a safer place.
It’s very exciting to see the good work being done at the NSCA Education Foundation, as well as the leadership team and all the volunteers who work on our behalf. We are showing great progress thanks to you all! Let us know if you would like to review any of these programs or want more information on plans for 2017. -NSCA Education Foundation Executive Director Chuck Wilson and NSCA Education Foundation Board Chairman Jeff Kindig