The NSCA Education Foundation has established the Hester Scholarship to help attract and recruit veterans to the systems integration industry.
At NSCA’s 18th annual Business & Leadership Conference in February in Dallas, Mike and Kiffie Hester made a generous donation of $25,000 to the NSCA Education Foundation, which will be used as seed money to create a program that helps attract and recruit veterans to the systems integration industry. The Hesters owned and operated Beacon Communications in Denver until their retirement this year. Mike is a long-time board member and is the immediate past president of NSCA.
One of the initial funding requests for this scholarship was made by the Electronic Systems Professional Alliance (ESPA). The funding enables ESPA and NSCA to conduct a series of outreach and recruitment events at various RecruitMilitary job fairs across the country, which are designed to help veterans put skills and experience gained during active duty to use on the job. The events also help connect veterans to educational opportunities at colleges where they can receive training for jobs that will be a good fit within the career path they choose.
As NSCA and ESPA attend these job fairs, an NSCA member (integration firm) will be paired with an academic channel partner. This allows veterans to see and hear about the types of jobs being offered in the industry; if additional education is needed so the veteran can pursue a job, the academic channel partner is available to explain training options.
“Both Mike and Kiffie feel strongly about this cause and have generously donated the funds to get this new program launched,” said NSCA Executive Director and ESPA Board Chair Chuck Wilson. “We couldn’t launch this program without the Hester Scholarship. It gave us the start we needed to promote our industry to the veteran community. We have members who share our passion for recruiting ex-military into our industry. Veterans are disciplined, professional, well organized and process-oriented from the onset. This makes onboarding much easier; a heightened attention to detail is already engrained.”
And, as the demand for installers and technicians grows in the security, life safety and emergency communications fields, veterans will also be connected with the Partner Alliance for Safer Schools (PASS), which brings together members of the security industry, school officials and law enforcement to develop a coordinated approach to protecting K-12 students and staff.