Goodwill’s new training lab meets staffing demand for certified cable installers

Nov 20, 2017 No Comments by

The Goodwill Career and Technical Academy at Goodwill Industries of Central Texas in Austin has opened a BISCI-certified training lab to meet growing demand for low-voltage wiring and cable installers in their region. Goodwill Staffing places the new graduates and is thrilled to be serving this industry, which pays high starting wages, offers strong advancement potential, and is very friendly to candidates with criminal records.

Some 90% of cable installers are temporary workers, and entry-level jobs start at $16 to $17 per hour. Assignments tend to be long-term, about six months on average for new construction, or longer, depending on the size and complexity of a project.

Goodwill Austin is one of 32 locations in the US to offer BISCI certification, and the first and only trainer with its own staffing company! When the training lab opened in June, seven employers were lined up to hire graduates. Today, Goodwill Staffing is partnering with all 11 contractors in its market. Billings through December are on track to total $175,000, and expected to grow to $500,000 in 2018.

The Level 1 BICSI training is 40-hours long, delivered in evening classes scheduled over a 3-week period. Classes are limited to 8 students, and the curriculum includes basic information technology, installation of cable, copper and optical fiber, and technician training. Candidates need to be physically able to stand for extended periods, climb ladders, and lift and carry items weighing 50 lbs. They must also be able to distinguish between different colors and have the dexterity to complete fine motor tasks.

So far, Goodwill is finding that 75% of its students complete the course and pass the exam on their first try. Those who don’t pass are offered remedial help before they retake the test. Goodwill’s biggest recruiting obstacle is persuading candidates to commit to three weeks of intensive coursework and risk leaving lower-paid positions in which they feel confident and secure.

The Level 1 training costs $1,875 per person (which includes books and the exam fee), and various grants enable Goodwill to offer classes at no cost to students. Employers will typically cover the cost of higher level certification training for workers.

Goodwill Staffing President Robyn Householder notes that diligence in understanding the cabling market and building community engagement and support has been critical to the success of this initiative. Goodwill’s upfront investment to become a certified training lab totaled $250,000, most of which they were able to raise from outside sources.

For more information about Goodwill’s BICSI training, please contact Addie Kellington, Director of Instruction at the Goodwill Career and Technical Academy (GCTA), Goodwill Central Texas, 512-557-0622.

Please visit BICSI’s website for more information on accreditations and a directory of training facilities nationwide.

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