June 23, 2020
ARLINGTON, Va. – The Wireless Infrastructure Association (WIA) is pleased to announce Stephanie Brewer, Compliance Coordinator, Sabre Industries (formerly MUTI), was elected to serve as Chairperson and Joel Hightower, CEO, Hightower Communications, Inc., was elected to serve as the Vice Chairperson of the Advisory Committee to WIA’s Telecommunications Industry Registered Apprenticeship Program (TIRAP).
Ms. Brewer was involved from the inception of the program by supporting the Committee for many years prior to being elected last year to an open seat, and she also assisted in the creation of a number of the specific apprenticeship occupations. Sabre (MUTI) was the first employer to register as a participant in TIRAP, and Stephanie has been an integral part of creating processes that are duplicatable and sustainable in managing a program of this size.
Mr. Hightower has served as an Advisory Committee member for many years and was also involved in the creation of the occupations for TIRAP. His company, Hightower Communications, is actively involved in the apprenticeship program. He has led the committee reviewing the antenna and line lead position as the position has been revised based on industry changes. He has extensive knowledge from his experience working in the industry in support of the goals for the apprenticeship program.
Both Brewer and Hightower have firsthand knowledge of the benefits to training their workforce and using apprenticeship as a pathway to career advancement. Overall, TIRAP works to facilitate the training of telecommunications employees to work safely, perform quality workmanship, and help them achieve the credentials set forth by TIRAP and credentialed by the Department of Labor (DoL).
Brewer is the first woman elected as Chairperson of the TIRAP Advisory Committee.
“It is a great honor to have the opportunity to lead this incredible group. It is also exciting to see more women in our industry getting involved and leading,” said Brewer.
“Whenever the Committee appoints a long-time industry professional with outstanding credentials, it is great for the organization. When they appoint the first woman to serve as its chair, it is good for WIA, the industry and for providing diverse leadership,” said Heather Gastelum, TIRAP Committee member and T-Mobile’s Senior Manager, National Site Safety.
Outgoing Chairperson Paul Roberts and Vice Chairperson Beau Aero have served on the TIRAP Advisory Committee since its inception. During their term as officers this past year, the apprenticeship program has seen tremendous growth. The program now stands at 31 employers and more than 2,300 apprentices. The program was given an impressive boost this year with a $6 million DoL grant to address skills gaps and expand apprenticeship in the telecommunications industry.
In addition to the officers, members of TIRAP’s Advisory Committee include Jonathan Adelstein, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Wireless Infrastructure Association; Beau Aero, President and Founder, GME Supply Co; Richard Cullum, Director of Safety for Crown Castle; Jimmy Miller, President and CEO of MillerCo Inc; Heather Gastelum, Senior Manager for National Site Safety and Operations; and David Sams, Vice President of Risk Management, SBA Communications Corporation. TIRAP itself is led by Tim House, Executive Vice President of WIA, and Deb Bennett, Executive Director.
About TIRAP: The Wireless Infrastructure Association (WIA) is the National Sponsor of the registered apprenticeship program known as TIRAP. Since 2017, WIA has administered National Standards of Apprenticeship along with the United States Department of Labor-approved, apprenticeable occupations associated with the program. Graduates of the program receive a national, industry-recognized credential that certifies occupation proficiency and provides opportunities for career advancement.
Amy-Gabrielle Bartolac | Public Affairs Manager
703-621-0527 | Amy-Gabrielle.Bartolac@wia.org