The International Communications Industries Association, Inc.® (ICIA®) has selected a new name for its foundation to reinforce the branding of the audiovisual trade association. Formerly the Educational Communications Foundation (ECF), the nonprofit charitable and educational organization is now the International Communications Industries Foundation, Inc. (ICIF), providing educational programs and scholarships and fostering a high-quality workforce capable of designing, renting and installing highly technical audiovisual systems.

“The ICIF name reflects new developments relating to the foundation’s expanding mission,” said Randal Lemke, Ph.D., ICIA executive director. “ICIF is taking on initiatives of major importance to our industry. The foundation will now serve as the figurehead for AV industry awareness and market intelligence as well as education.”

ICIF will focus on four activities to provide both education and awareness for the AV industry including: workforce development, scholarships, market intelligence and an AVolution industry awareness campaign.

“We’ve always focused on education through our foundation,” said Christopher T. Miller, CTS, president of ICIF. “We’ll make an even greater impact by supplementing our workforce development efforts with market intelligence and an industry awareness program.”

On March 27, the ICIA Board voted unanimously to adopt the new name for the foundation.

Since its charter, ICIF has successfully improved education and helped to prepare students for careers in the audiovisual industry. Funding donated to ICIF from ICIA member manufacturers was used to develop the first InfoComm Academy online courses, and their sponsorship continues to support course revisions and the state-of-the-art delivery system. Since 1997 over 14,000 course sessions have been taken – more than 1,000,000 individual lessons – and there are more than 2,000 students currently enrolled. Also, a grant from the U.S. Department of Education was used to develop an eight-course college AV curriculum with partner community colleges.

In addition, ICIF has awarded more than 25 scholarships for post-secondary education through its scholarship programs and has sponsored scholarship awards for the winning audiovisual technology teams at the SkillsUSA Championships, the nation’s showcase competition for public career and technical education. Seven ICIA member manufacturers donate industry scholarships that can be used for ICIA educational programs around the world. And through VTECS, Research-Based Information and Resources for Career and Workforce Development, a detailed job task analysis survey of installation and design positions is in its final stages.

Within ICIF, the market intelligence program includes new AV industry market research conducted by ICIF and a centralized database of existing research to support the AV industry. The market research will be available to ICIA members and non-members on ICIA’s website.

ICIF is also funding AVolution, an industry awareness campaign that ICIA will launch at InfoComm May 31 – June 6, 2003. Advertising and editorial programs will include the tagline, “When Sight and Sounds Power Ideas and Information, That’s AVolution.” The campaign will feature case studies and samples of actual AV end users to tell the story about AV today.

ICIF is a nonprofit which allows it to receive tax-deductible financial and material support from individual and corporate donors and to secure grants from governmental and philanthropic organizations. For more information about ICIF, please check the ICIA website at

The International Communications Industries Association, Inc.® (ICIA®) is the premier trade association for the professional audiovisual communications industry. ICIA is the founder of InfoComm, the conference and trade exposition for audiovisual communications professionals who come to learn about the latest technologies and available services as well as new and alternative applications. As a key industry event, InfoComm is the educational and interactive marketplace for manufacturers, distributors, dealers, systems integrators, rental and staging companies, independent representatives, independent design consultants, architects, facilities managers, engineers, presentations designers and end users, including AV and IT professionals, sales and marketing staff, meeting planners and purchasers. InfoComm attracts a broad spectrum of market sectors, including business, government, military, education, religion, health care, entertainment and conventions. ICIA also serves its worldwide membership as the pre-eminent provider of education, training and certification.