ARLINGTON, Va. – The Telecommunications Industry Registered Apprenticeship Program Advisory Board (TIRAP) honored the dedicated service of two of its leaders who were instrumental in the development and growth of registered apprenticeships in the wireless industry.
David Sams, Vice President of Risk Management for SBA Communications Corporation, has served on the advisory board since 2014 and was Chairman from 2018-2019. Joel Hightower, CEO of Hightower Communications, Inc., has served since 2017 and has been the Vice Chair since 2020. Both Sams and Hightower stepped down from the advisory board but will remain active in supporting workforce development and training, for their companies and the industry.
“Joel and David served TIRAP with distinction,” said Stephanie Brewer, TIRAP Advisory Board Chair. “Their insight, commitment, and professionalism will be sorely missed. Joel and David helped build TIRAP from a small apprenticeship program into an industry-leading, powerhouse workforce development program. The program will build on their legacy, and we look forward to the continued growth of training and apprenticeships to meet the skill needs of our industry.”
“I would like to thank Joel and David for their exceptional service on the TIRAP Advisory Board,” said Jonathan Adelstein, President and CEO of WIA. “Their vision helped drive TIRAP to the success it is today. Although they will no longer be serving in an official capacity, I will continue to rely on their wise counsel.”
During the Advisory Board meeting, both officer positions were up for re-election. Stephanie Brewer was reelected as chair for another one-year term, and Brad Baumann was elected to serve as vice-chair, for a one-year term.
“I am honored to be able to serve as Chair for another year with these great leaders to continue to address workforce needs in our industry and provide employment and career path opportunities for apprentices,” said Brewer. “Brad brings an enthusiasm and similar vision for us to continue to grow the program and expand our occupations. I look forward to working hand-in-hand with him to meet the board goals during our next term serving together.”
Ryan Coppola (SBA Communications Corporation) was elected to serve on the Board during the board meeting, as well as Board members Jonathan Adelstein (WIA), Stephanie Brewer (USA Telecom Insurance Services), Heather Gastelum (T-Mobile) and Jimmy Miller (MillerCo). They join board members Beau Aero (GME Supply), Brad Baumann (Gabe’s Construction), Paul Roberts (American Tower), and Richard Cullum (Crown Castle).
“I am excited to have Ryan join our board, as I believe he will bring great insight from his industry involvement and years of experience,” said Brewer.
The Wireless Infrastructure Association (WIA) represents the businesses that build, develop, own, and operate the nation’s wireless infrastructure. WIA advocates for the widespread, responsible deployment of wireless infrastructure to enable mobile broadband for communities everywhere.
The Wireless Infrastructure Association (WIA) is the National Sponsor of the Telecommunications Industry Registered Apprenticeship Program (TIRAP), a DoL-registered apprenticeship program. Since 2017, WIA has administered National Standards of Apprenticeship for DoL-approved occupations established under the program. Graduates receive national, industry-recognized credentials that certify occupation proficiency and expand opportunities for career advancement. WIA supports participating employers in promoting consistency and uniformity in training across occupations to improve the safety and quality of the wireless workforce.