American Alarm Receives $56K Grant for Employee Training

By Ashley Willis

ARLINGTON, Mass. — A $56,805 grant from the Governor of Massachusetts office will help American Alarm and Communications train its employees on customer service, project management and sales.

Through the Workforce Training Fund, 138 Massachusetts companies will split $11.3 million in grants. Employers expect the funds to produce 1,700 new jobs in the state, reports the Arlington Patch.

American Alarm learned about the grant’s availability through its membership in the Associated Industries of Massachusetts (AIM), an employers’ assistance group, American Alarm HR Manager Sheryl Gillis tells SSI.

American Alarm will use the grant money to retain The Competitiveness Improvement Company (TCIC), a training and consulting firm specializing in a full range of customized management and professional development services. Because American Alarm uses the firm to provide training to its 155 employees, Gillis worked with TCIC to fill out and submit the application for the grant.

Founded in 1971 by three engineers from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), American Alarm is an independent security systems integration and monitoring company. Serving 60-percent commercial and 40-percent residential accounts, the company provides access control, CCTV, fire protection and intrusion alarm systems to its clientele.

Beginning in January, the training courses — namely geared toward improving employees’ customer service skills — will be held every other week for 18 months. “As we go forward, we’ll take a quick look at the process to determine if we need to focus on something else if our employees quickly learn the basic skills,” Gillis says.

The company is not currently using the funds to hire employees; however, those plans may change.

“The grant is a great opportunity because we’re looking to grow our business both internally and externally,” Gillis says. “We want to provide best-in-class customer service, and then we want to attract the best employees. Because of the training for existing staff, we may see some promotions. That will prompt us to hire replacements for those people or others who have moved to a different department.”

Ashley Willis is associate editor for SECURITY SALES & INTEGRATION. She can be reached at (310) 533-2419.

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