from left: Jeff Lipp, CTS-D, Lipp AV Design; Maria Gaitan, Groupo Niza; Richard Blackwell, Linked2 Software; Sarabeth Mullins, scholarship winner; Ron Camden, Biamp Systems; Lauren Belle Koske, scholarship winner; Erin Bolton, Zift Solutions
On Wednesday afternoon at a packed open house, InfoComm showcased its efforts to nurture nextgeneration audio/video professionals by developing curriculum for colleges and universities worldwide. As David Labuskes, CTS, RCDD, Executive Director and CEO of InfoComm International, explained it, there is now “an exaggerated demand for qualified people” in the growing AV industry, currently expanding at a rate of 12 percent worldwide. “This is a year-round effort that InfoComm has been focused on,” he noted. “In particular, it’s one of the six pillars of our strategic plan with respect to workforce development. In every meeting I’ve been to with members since I took this job, the issue of finding talented and qualified people has been raised. It’s universal, whether in Bangalore or Portland.”
Betsy Jaffe, InfoComm’s Senior VP of Member Services, is approaching a year serving as the Executive Director of the International Communications Industries Foundation (ICIF), a non-profit charitable and educational organization created by InfoComm to assist the AV industry in its growth.
“I won’t be surprised when some of our students today grow up to be the industry executives of tomorrow,” noted Jaffe of this emerging group of ICIF-assisted, AV-dedicated students. “They will have a job that pays good wages, but is also fun, exciting and rewarding.”
At yesterday’s event, university students Lauren Koske and Sarabeth Mullins, both juniors, were presented as recipients of the 2016 Michael Vergauwen Scholarship, each receiving $5,000 to support their audio visual education.