The Telecommunications Industry Registered Apprenticeship Program (TIRAP) announced that two new members will be adding their expertise to its Board of Directors. Jim Walker-Pontius, U.S. Cellular’s Director of Network Operations, will serve as Chairman of TIRAP’s Technology Committee. Art Pregler, AT&T’s Director of National Cell Site Programs, has been named Chairman of the Board’s Quality
Committee. Retiring from the Board this week is founding member Dale Heath, the Steel Product Line Manager for CommScope.
“We want to thank Dale for his many years of service in strengthening the training and safety of America’s telecommunications workforce,” said TIRAP Chairman Scott Kisting, Senior Vice President for Risk & Compliance at Midwest Underground Technology, Inc. “While the TIRAP Board is losing a great champion, we’re proud to be bringing on a pair of experts that will help us meet the training, education, and safety needs of the ever-increasing telecommunications workforce across the nation. If the U.S. wants to satisfy consumer demand and stay competitive in the global economy, providing our workers cutting-edge telecom training is imperative.”
TIRAP’s Board is comprised of: Scott Kisting, Senior Vice President of Risk and Compliance, Midwest Underground Technology, Inc., Jonathan Adelstein, President and CEO of PCIA – The Wireless Infrastructure Association; David Sams, Vice President of Risk Management for SBA Communications Corporation; Beau Aero, President and Founder of GME Supply; Dave Anthony, Founder, President and CEO of Shenandoah Tower Service; Richard Cullum, Manager of Quality Assurance, Engineering and Operations for Crown Castle USA Inc.; and Kelley Dunne, President and Co-Founder of Warriors 4 Wireless; and Paul Roberts, Vice President of Compliance for American Tower Corporation.
Walker-Pontius will bring to TIRAP his extensive end-to-end knowledge of the operations and maintenance of wireless communications network systems, including tower structures and associated safety and maintenance procedures. Walker-Pontius’ experience extends beyond his work with U.S. Cellular. He previously served in the United States Army as a Satellite Systems Communications Operator with the certified instructor indicator, working on satellite systems in research and development, fixed site installations as well as serving in a tactical deployment unit.
Additionally, Pregler’s deep understanding of policies, processes, systems, and supplier management related to the deployment and modification of AT&T’s nationwide portfolio of 65,000 cell sites will prove vital to the program’s work towards advancing the telecommunications workforce. His experience on national, regional, state, and local levels will prove effective on the wide range of network infrastructure issues TIRAP supports. Prior to joining AT&T, Art served 15 years in the Federal government, supporting both the Department of Defense and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration.
The Telecommunications Industry Registered Apprenticeship Program is a joint venture of telecommunications companies, industry associations and the U.S. Department of Labor that develops DoL-credentialed apprenticeship programs available to qualified employers for the training and career development of the telecommunications workforce.