June 4, 2018
Washington, D.C. – The Executive Board of the Telecommunications Industry Registered Apprenticeship Program (TIRAP) announced today that David Sams, Vice President of Risk Management with SBA Communications, was elected Chairperson of the group. Paul Roberts, Vice President of Compliance for American Tower Corp., was elected Vice-Chairperson, and Beau Aero, President and Founder of GME Supply, was elected Secretary. Former Chairman Scott Kisting was named Chairperson Emeritus.
TIRAP is a joint venture of telecommunications companies, industry associations and the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) that develops DOL-credentialed apprenticeship programs and makes them available to qualified employers for workforce development.
“I’m honored with the opportunity to chair such an important organization,” Sams said. “Thanks to Scott, we have achieved several milestones over the past four years. It’s my goal to continue our efforts in recruiting employers and employees into the apprenticeship program. The Trump Administration is very much in favor of expanding apprentice programs, and TIRAP is the only telecommunications industry driven program connecting people with companies. I’m also looking forward to our continued work with the National Wireless Safety Association and the National Association of Tower Erectors as we work to train, test and credential skilled employees who are responsible for the wireless communication systems that is available in our country.”
TIRAP’s mission is to partner with industry stakeholders to promote safety, enhance quality, and enable education and advancement opportunities in the telecommunications workforce that will meet network infrastructure build out needs. Since its inception, TIRAP has outlined an apprenticeship framework and credentialed a total of seven occupations through DOL.
As National Sponsor of TIRAP, WIA serves as the link between the employers and the registered apprenticeship program. WIA manages and coordinates the development of apprenticeship programs for each participating employer, and fields all inquiries from telecommunications companies interested in learning more about TIRAP.
WIA represents the businesses that develop, build, own and operate the nation’s wireless infrastructure. Members include wireless carriers, infrastructure providers, and professional services firms that collectively own and operate telecommunications facilities around the globe. WIA supports its diverse members and the entire wireless industry through advocacy, communications, events, and education.
In addition to the four officers, members of TIRAP’s Executive Board include Art Pregler, Director of National Mobility Systems for AT&T; Joel Hightower, CEO & Owner of Hightower Communications, Inc; James Walker Pontius, Director of Network Operations for US Cellular; Jonathan Adelstein, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Wireless Infrastructure Association; Laurie Gebhardt, HQ Director of Network Engineering & Operations Support for Verizon Wireless; Kelley Dunne, President Novation Enterprises; and Richard Cullum, Director of Safety for Crown Castle. Staff support is provided by Deb Bennett, Apprenticeship Director for WIA.
The Telecommunications Industry Registered Apprenticeship Program (“TIRAP”) is a joint venture of telecommunications companies, industry associations and the U.S. Department of Labor (“DoL”) that develops DoL-credentialed apprenticeship programs available to qualified employers for the training and career development of the telecommunications workforce. The TIRAP’s mission is to partner with stakeholders to promote safety, enhance quality, and enable education and advancement opportunities in the telecommunications workforce that will meet network infrastructure build out needs.