Next up: An apprenticeship program for the security industry?

Today at the ESX tradeshow in Baltimore, the National Burglar and Fire Alarm Association (NBFAA) was drumming up support for an industry specific National Apprenticeship Program.

The Apprenticeship Development Group -- whose ultimate goals are workforce development, recruitment, training and continuing education -- spoke to a room packed with interested integrators and other show attendees. The goal, according to the organization, is to have an industry prepared for its future, with a labor pool of skilled technicians who have been trained through a formal program.

The NBFAA is urging its charter chapter members to start the wheels turning in each state so that eventually the industry can be prepared for its future with a national program of educated and trained apprentices.

"We see apprenticeships as being critical to achieving our objective of becoming a leader in the development of a skilled labor force," said George Gunning of USA Alarm Systems Inc., Monrovia, Calif., and former NBFAA president.

NBFAA will work with the Charter State Associations to develop a more flexible and responsive model for apprenticeships and improve the supply of a professional trained workforce, Gunning added. Gunning spearheaded the joint efforts of the California Alarm Association and the California Automatic Fire Alarm Association to form the WBFAA UATC apprenticeship and training program. That program is notable as it was the first statewide apprenticeship program ever approved in California. The program received national support from the beginning with the goal of eventually creating a merit shop (non-union) apprenticeship program that would serve the electronic security and fire/life safety industry,

John Ladd, an administrator for the federally operated Office of Apprenticeship Training, an arm of the U.S. Department of Labor, said the administration of the apprenticeship program specific to the industry can be flexible and adapted to meet the needs of the burglar and fire alarm industry. "Apprenticeships have become an important post secondary education option," Ladd said.

For more information on the NBFAA's efforts contact the association by phone at (888) 447-1689 or visit The Department of Labor also provides information about its Registered Apprenticeship initiatives