Two key industry organizations are continuing to collaborate to achieve common goals of a safe, skilled and qualified telecommunications workforce.
Officials from the Telecommunications Industry Registered Apprenticeship Program (TIRAP) and the National Wireless Safety Alliance (NWSA), which signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) last year, met recently at the Safety LMS training facility in Austin, Tex., as part of TIRAP’s Occupation/Credential Working Group. Safety LMS President John Paul Jones served as the sponsoring host of the meeting.
TIRAP was established in 2014 as a public-private partnership between leading wireless infrastructure companies, industry associations, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) and the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). The mission of the consortium is to develop apprenticeship programs and improve workplace safety, address industry workforce needs, and provide workers with greater employment and advancement opportunities. The Wireless Infrastructure Association (WIA) is the national sponsor of the TIRAP program.
NWSA is a 501(c)(6) non-profit organization headquartered in Fairfax, Virginia created to provide thorough, independent assessments of knowledge and skills and provide verifiable nationwide worker certification in order to enhance safety, reduce workplace risk, improve quality, encourage training, and recognize the skilled professionals who work on towers and other nonstandard structures.
The two primary goals shared by both TIRAP and NWSA include:
- The establishment of a framework of job task requirements that ensures safe and quality work is performed in accordance with recognized standards, and
- The development of a systematic approach to provide certification of workers in positions reflecting their specific job skills.
In addition, both organizations agree that an ongoing dialogue will facilitate the rapid deployment of solutions for the telecommunications tower industry by leveraging the skills and talents of all professionals involved in this effort.
“It was very exciting to see the working group in action,” said TIRAP Chairman Scott Kisting from Proactive Telecommunications Solutions. “Working with NWSA allows us the means to effectively share information between our two respective organizations in order to achieve our mutual goals of ultimately enhancing the quality, safety and efficiency of the workforce,” added Kisting.
“I have been very pleased with the current synergies that exist between NWSA and TIRAP,” stated NWSA Executive Director Duane MacEntee. “This collaboration is extremely important to ensure consistency and continuity in terms of the common vernacular associated with the industry’s various training pathways, job requirements and worker categories,” MacEntee said.
TIRAP continues to focus on the development of the overall TIRAP Apprentice Framework (career lattice) and the identification of new apprenticeship occupations and endorsements. Development of new apprenticeship occupations and endorsements requires describing the occupation and identifying both on the job learning and related training instruction outlines with a focus on industry needs as communicated through the TIRAP Board.
NWSA launched two industry-wide national certification programs in December of 2016: Telecommunications Tower Technician 1 (TTT-1) and Telecommunications Tower Technician 2 (TTT-2). NWSA also recently announced the names of the individuals who were among the first workers to obtain NWSA Telecommunications Tower Technician (TTT) certification.
Other assessment and certification programs NWSA plans on developing in the future include Antenna & Line Foreman, Tower (Stacking) Foreman, Structural Modifications Foreman, Rigging, DAS Systems, Small Cell Systems, Broadcast Structures and Outside Plant/Fiber to the Home and Business.