Louisiana Adopts Standards for Alarm Industry Apprenticeship Program

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<strong>Irving, Texas &mdash; April 24</strong><br />The Louisiana Life Safety and Security Association (LLSSA), a chartered chapter of the National Burglar & Fire Alarm Association (NBFAA), has announced that the LLSSA&rsquo;s standards for a statewide, registered apprenticeship program have been approved by the Louisiana Department of Labor&rsquo;s Apprenticeship Division.<br /><br />&ldquo;We feel that we have now crossed a major hurdle toward a true career path via registered apprenticeship in the state of Louisiana,&rdquo; said Ron Foreman, LLSSA apprenticeship chairman. &ldquo;Our state is in dire need of a trained employee labor pool, and this new workforce initiative for our industry will go far to meet that need.&rdquo;<br /><br />Foreman credited the work of the NBFAA and the original donors who contributed to the development of the first apprenticeship program advanced by the California Alarm Association for use in that state. &ldquo;This accomplishment would not have been possible without the support of the NBFAA and the work of Art Webster, apprenticeship program consultant, and the courses developed by California,&rdquo; Foreman explained.<br /><br />Heather Stefan, state director of apprenticeship for Louisiana, stated, &ldquo;I am thrilled to welcome LLSSA into our apprenticeship community here in Louisiana. I have every confidence that this will develop into an excellent program because it is clear that the organization understands and embraces the fundamentals of registered apprenticeship and recognizes that this is the premier training vehicle for developing our workforce. This speaks very highly of LLSSA&rsquo;s dedication to their members and the workers in our state.&rdquo;<br /><br />Ron Petrarca, NBFAA Apprentice Committee chairman, added, &ldquo;This is just one more step towards having apprenticeship programs in every state. Everyone in our industry understands the need to expand the labor pool, to attract the very best technicians and to provide a mechanism to introduce and train on new products, technologies and applications. Our hope is that all of our chapters will follow Louisiana&rsquo;s example and provide a foundation that allows technicians to advance in their profession and improve the ability of the industry to recruit, train and retain the very best technicians from a competitive labor pool.&rdquo;<br /><br />&ldquo;We are very gratified to be able to take advantage of the national guidelines and obtain passage in our state,&rdquo; said Mark Lagarde, LLSSA president. &ldquo;When NBFAA received approval in September 2006 from the U.S. Department of Labor&rsquo;s Office of Apprenticeship (OA) for National Guidelines for Apprenticeship Standards for the occupation of Protective Signal Installer (Fire/Life Safety & Electronic Security Installer), we knew the LLSSA would not be far behind in working to develop a program for Louisiana.&rdquo;<br /><br />According to the U.S. Labor Department, the standards approved in 2006 serve as a model for developing local apprenticeship programs registered with the OA or State Apprenticeship Agency/Council for all occupations listed in the guidelines. The purpose of the National Guideline Standards is to provide policy and guidance to employers, employer associations and their local affiliates in developing Standards of Apprenticeship for local approval and registration.<br /><br />NBFAA&rsquo;s apprenticeship program has its roots in a program developed in California. Beginning in 2000 &mdash; when a state law mandated that technicians be enrolled in a state-approved apprenticeship program &mdash; the California Alarm Association and the California Automatic Fire Alarm Association joined forces to develop a comprehensive and relevant training and education program.<br /><br />The California program offers traditional classroom training, but the goal from the beginning was to make the related theoretical training available online with a comprehensive distance learning program.<br /><br />&ldquo;Ever since NBFAA was able to obtain approval of a federal apprenticeship program, our goal has been to work through our National Training School (NTS) and our state chapters to create the administrative and delivery systems to make apprenticeship accessible to technicians in every state,&rdquo; said George P. Gunning, NBFAA president.<br /> 

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