Certification, EST training garners

apprenticeship nod
Tuesday, July 1, 2003

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa - A road tour is now under way to educate people about the National Systems Contractors Association’s EST Training Series and its new certification program, which has received federal approval as an apprenticeship program.

The tour is scheduled to stop in six cities - Orlando; Portland, Ore.; Boston; St. Louis; San Jose, Calif.; and Phoenix - over the course of the summer before the program kicks-off on Sept. 15.

NSCA officials will provide details on the EST Training Series, the new certification element and the ability to use it as an apprenticeship program.

“Schools around the country are starting to teach EST curriculum, but there hasn’t been a good industry credential around them,” said Jeff Quint, executive vice president of NSCA.

With the new certification element, Quint expects that will change.

He predicted that eventually integrated systems projects will require EST certification.

He said the program is important to companies that need an apprenticeship program to meet state licensing requirements or to work on prevailing wage projects.

The EST Training Series will now offer certification at four different levels through a four-year program. To meet apprenticeship requirements, participants need to complete the four-year coursework and pass an exam. The EST Training curriculum has existed for the past two years, but the certification element and the four-year program are new additions.

Though the program is federally approved as an apprenticeship program, companies are not required to use it in that fashion. Some companies may decide to use the EST program as a training tool to attract and retain employees, said Kim Doyle, marketing and communications director for NSCA.

“Employers can use it as an employee recruitment tool,” she said. “It gives people a very clear, formalized career path.”