Commercial Integrator + Security Sales Jan/Feb 2024 - 31

specialization. " He further propounds
that these skills do not just apply to the AV
industry but also to any industry in general.
" We're essentially equipping the next
generation with the power of technology
and letting them lead the way forward, "
Sasson underscores.
Looking to the Future
According to all of our interviewees, currently
existing AV education programs are
just the preamble to the burgeoning rise of
education tracks in AV. Chacko affirms that
development plans are in place to eventually
launch a full major track in AV at Pace
University. He remarks, " We took around
two years to conceptualize the minor, and
we anticipate taking a lot longer [to build]
the major track. " Regardless, Chacko and
Miller are both extremely keen to continue
the groundwork on the education side.
" Who knows? " Miller chimes in. " Perhaps
we may have a master's program soon! "
This enthusiasm also carries over to
efforts to raise awareness among parents,
friends and other university departments.
For instance, Miller and Chacko hosted
the inaugural A/V Talent Summit, where
partner organizations presented education
sessions and panel discussions. It
was a perfect opportunity to appeal to students
interested in the audiovisual realm.
" We also handpicked students from the
MCA 165 course for a panel discussion so
that other attendees could gain a personal
perspective, " Miller reveals. " We also had
giveaway swag as a way of attracting a
crowd and kickstarting a conversation
centered [on] AV. "
The A/V Talent Summit was a major success,
receiving immensely positive feedback
from all attendees and participants.
Reiterating the purpose of the event,
Miller adds, " We want AV as a subject to be
at the forefront of the students' thoughts,
and this event [allowed] us to do just that. "
Sasson, too, seeks to sow the proverbial
seeds of AV by helping the next generation
to be future-ready. Through this
partnership with education institutions
and dealers, he reveals, anyone with a
company or school address can undertake
the Crestron training program. " The
best part is that the training follows the
individual - not the company or school
they worked at, " Sasson proclaims. " They
can thus carry this experience on their
resumes when advancing their career. "
Sasson underlines that the core idea is
to bring everyone together in an effort to
provide educational opportunities for the
current generation's successors in the AV
sphere. " We're all excited to be working
together and helping [the youngsters]
build successful careers because there
is such a huge demand for those skilled
resources in our industry, " Sasson says.
Closing Thoughts
As Sasson puts it, when it comes to education
access, it should be a collective effort
- not an individual effort. " This is about
taking the industry forward and encouraging
the next generation to influence
and shape our trajectory, " he emphasizes.
Chacko echoes that sentiment, noting that
the goal is to " ...lessen the gap [and the]
talent shortage and grow the workforce. "
Miller remarks, " It is ironic that, for such
an unknown industry, the AV field will generate
around $8 billion in revenue in 2028.
It is time we shared this wonderful industry
with the changemakers of tomorrow. "
Indeed, there is no better time than
now to spotlight our industry to the
next generation and, thus, bring them
in. This vast industry, after all, has
something for everyone. As Miller
states, " We may have been the first
ones to do [these programs]; however,
we certainly won't be the last! CI
The Need for
AV Education
According to Erin Maher-Moran,
CTS, DMC-E, who is multimedia
services manager at Johns Hopkins
University, the emphasis on
education in AV must go beyond
just enhancing students' skills
and resources; it should also be
about empowering them to rise to
new heights in their careers. " For
young girls and other marginalized
communities, it is especially
important to support them and give
them a confidence boost, " she says.
Thus, Maher-Moran hopes to see
AV-related programs reach all the
way to kindergarten, elementary
school and middle school. She
also spotlights the need for young
girls in STEM to see role models,
adding, " It's always inspiring to see
representation at that young age
and know that you are capable of
[reaching] similar heights. "
Additionally, Maher-Moran
acknowledges the twofold benefits
of training programs for AV's next
generation. " It helps us, as well! "
she explains. " We get to see fresh
innovations and perspectives that
strengthen our operations. " In
summation, Maher-Moran welcomes
the efforts of Pace University, Crestron,
AVIXA and other organizations that are
striving to improve access to education
in AV. " With this collaborative effort, we
are well on our way to building a better
future for all, " she concludes.
Professors George Chacko (left) and Rich Miller III believe that, when it comes to
providing access to education about AV careers, it should be a collective effort - not
an individual effort. These programs will help us build a better future for our industry.
Jan/Feb 2024 | Commercial Integrator+Security Sales & Integration
31
WES BROWN

Commercial Integrator + Security Sales Jan/Feb 2024

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