CAA Covers Apprenticeship Program Details at Convention

PALM SPRINGS, Calif.—About 150 members, exhibitors and other industry professionals congregated in the sweltering Palm Springs, Calif., desert at for the annual California Alarm Association (CAA) Summer Convention. The proceedings were highlighted by a special session on the Western Burglar and Fire Alarm Association (WBFAA) Unilateral Apprenticeship and Training Program, supplier exhibits, and a full slate of presentations.

A detailed report explaining the apprenticeship program for certifying the occupation of a fire/life safety technician (anyone connecting electrical devices of 100 volt amperes [VA] or more)—expected to be implemented by 2005—was distributed during the convention. More than two years in the making, the program received final approval and was signed by Gov. Gray Davis in late May.  However, the program is still being reviewed by the Division of Apprenticship Standards (DAS).

It is hoped that the ambitious program, which requires 6,000 hours of on-the-job training as well as approximately 525 hours of coursework, will be used as a template and widely adopted across the country. “I believe that once this program gets going, it will be tremendous for our industry. It will offer young people a legitimate career path,” said WBFAA President George Gunning.

The recent rise in cities considering verified response was also discussed during the convention. Les Gold, CAA legal counsel, said the Salt Lake City Police Department is pushing its no-response policy to other municipalities, such as Los Angeles. Consequently, cities such as L.A. are demanding a physical verification to alarms. “The best thing we can do as an industry is to work with your local police departments and keep up with what they are doing,” urged Gold.

The seminars were kicked off by Security Sales & Integration Editor Scott Goldfine’s “Making Trade Magazines Work for You.” The seminar spelled out the valuable yet free information and services the publication offers dealers/integrators, the avenues for getting into the magazine, its associated outlets and projects, and the ease and importance of getting involved.

In addition, special presentations included the Mark Schubert Award and the CAA Youth Scholarship Program.

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