Everything You Need to Know About NSCA Ignite
The National Systems Contractors Association, NSCA, is a non-profit organization representing the Commercial Electronic Systems industry. Along with being a strong advocate for the industry, the NSCA also provides useful tools and resources for the industry through the NSCA Member Organization and NSCA Education Foundation.
To learn more about the resources that the NSCA Education Foundation provides, we interviewed Kelly Perkins, Education Foundation Program Director at NSCA. Here’s a deeper look into all that the NSCA Education Foundation and the NSCA Ignite Program has to offer and how to get involved.
Tell us about the NSCA Education Foundation and its initiatives.
The Foundation initiatives include Ignite, PASS, and a few research and scholarship programs. Our Mission: To advance educational opportunities by providing scholarships and awards to assist existing professionals and those pursuing careers within the communications technology industry.
What is the Ignite program?
Ignite exists for a single purpose: to connect students and schools to our industry. We’re a subsidiary of the National Systems Contractors Association, but our mission is agnostic to NSCA membership. Ignite was unveiled at the NSCA Business and Leadership Conference in 2016 and we’ve come a long way since the inception.
Ignite works to generate interest in communications technology by connecting local high school and college students with manufacturers, dealers, and integrators to spark imagination and encourage students to consider new career paths in our industry. We’re also committed to the promotion and awareness of opportunities to attract the next generation to the communications technology and fill the funnel with qualified candidates.
Who is this program for?
The program is directed mainly to two audiences – students and communications tech organizations.
It’s for our industry folks looking to fill positions: integrators, manufacturers, consultants, distributors and even end-users.
It’s also for high school and post-secondary students wanting to join a sort of hidden-gem-type innovative tech industry.
Can anyone join it?
Of course! You don’t even have to be an NSCA member to become an Ignite ambassador. Collectively, we have the powerful and influential voice to attract, retain, and grow qualified new talent. Here’s how a few ways on how to do it:
Be an advocate and ambassador for your state/region.Leverage your knowledge and connections to spread the word about opportunities in the commercial electronics systems industry.
Support local/regional industry job fairs. By attending and sponsoring events, you’ll build connections with students, educators, and career seekers.
Contact and visit educational organizations. Be a guest speaker or industry representative and share your knowledge.
Provide mentorship and internships. Hands-on learning can be a life-changing experience for interested students and can help you fill your new talent pipeline.
Sponsor or donate. Marketable support from industry partners allows Ignite to reach more students more successfully.
Does the person have to have a background in A/V or interest in the industry solely enough?
Absolutely not – there are SO many opportunities on every level. Whether you’re a high school grad or an experienced pro, you have plenty of options in the Communications Technology industry. Why? Because employers are willing to train and Ignite is here to connect students to them. In fact, we not only offer career-finder resources, we’re an avenue to internships, apprenticeships – and even scholarships.
Does the person have to be a student or a recent grad?
Honestly, we have so many on-the-job training opportunities – you just have to have a willingness to learn.
What resources does this program provide?
Career-finder resources, job board, avenues for jobs, internships, apprenticeships – and even scholarships.
How can companies and industry professionals get involved?
If you’re already an Ignite Ambassador, or interested in becoming one, we’d like to get more information from you, so we can tailor the program to your needs and get you the right support materials.
To become an Ignite Ambassador visit https://igniteyourcareer.org/ambassador-signup/.
You can also visit the Ignite page at the NSCA website to learn more about the Ambassador program.
How can people share these opportunities?
If you know of anyone else – within or outside your organization – who’d like to get involved in the Ignite movement, please pass it on! You have the influence and experience to help build a pipeline to success.
Remember, if you steer only one young person to a great career in Communications Technology, you’ve changed a life forever. So, jump on board and join the Ignite movement.
National Systems Contractors Association
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