ESA launches new, customizable, member-only Training as a Service (TaaS) to fast-track new hires

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Monday, June 24, 2019

DALLAS—ESA’s National Training School launched Training as a Service (TaaS), a customizable, industry-professional-designed, member-only learning experience, offering two tracks to assist security professionals in developing needed work skills. 

The ESA Systems Technician path, designed for professionals with 0-6 months of experience, focuses on core industry knowledge, safety and employability skills while the Specialist path is designed for professionals with 6-18 months of experience, and features advanced technical courses and industry trends. Both paths include a subset of electives, which is where the customizable component comes into play, allowing business owners to choose the courses for employees to take that best meet their business objectives. This education can be started as soon as someone is hired and is said to deliver easy-to-use, easy-to-afford and easy-to-implement training for member companies. 

“We always aim to deliver benefits to our members that will relieve pressure points — and strong onboarding and training is certainly something many struggle with,” Chief Knowledge Officer of ESA, Michelle Yungblut, said in the announcement. “When you can deliver a customizable program that’s going to chart growth for new employees from their very first day and through their first year of employment, that’s powerful. 

During the creation of TaaS, the ESA leaned on the guidance of six highly experienced industry experts who suggested fitting topics that would have the biggest impact on new hires attaining excellence. This must have been quite a feat considering five generations make up the workforce, each with its own unique learning and communication styles. “Studies in generational desires support the need for employers to provide their employees with a clear path to professional growth,” Yungblut told SSN. “Gen Z, Millennials and Gen Xers, in particular, put a lot of emphasis on learning new skills and they consider it a benefit when their employer invests in their growth.”  

So, how exactly does ESA’s TaaS education meet the expectations of five generations? Essentially, by providing diversity through choice via customization, and online pre-recorded and live instructor-led courses. “The fact that the program is customizable based on the employee’s skills and experience is what makes this program unique, and allows for the content to be geared towards the specific needs of the employee and the employer,” explained Yungblut. “No matter the age or experience of the technician, choices in the content can be made to best fit their unique needs.” 

As with any training program, there’s always the possibility that students will get stuck, not fully understand a concept, experience technical issues and/or have questions that need to be answered to successfully complete a program. In cases such as these, ESA provides direct student support while encouraging the student’s manager to be an active participant in his/her learning. 

“All of our courses have a team of subject matter experts, usually ESA Certified National Training School Instructors who are available to answer questions from students,” Yungblut said. “This program also considers the student’s manager as part of the team and that means the manager will always be looped into the employee’s progress and be notified if the student/employee has specific questions that they may be involved in answering.” Additionally, all courses are offered through an online portal and status reports will help managers track student progress.”

For years, members have been providing feedback to ESA, naming workforce shortages as their largest pain point, Yungblut said, expounding on what the TaaS program will do: 

  • Offer a training program which makes companies more attractive to potential candidates;
  • Hired candidates can quickly get trained to become contributing team members;
  • Short assessment exams allow employers to determine where potential candidates and/or new hires are strong and weak in critical installation skills; and 
  • Provide a solid on-boarding program that makes new hires feel part of the team and understand company culture.

Another positive of the TaaS program? It takes company size out of the equation, which could be a limiting factor to providing training to employees, especially for SMBs with limited budgets. “The Taas program will provide all companies, no matter their size, the chance to provide their teams with well-rounded skills training,” Yungblut concluded. “We priced the program to be budget friendly — just $750 per employee for 70 hours of training.”