The International Communications Industries Association, Inc.(ICIA) is pleased to announce the latest addition to the ICIA family of InfoComm Academy online courses. "Quick Start to the Audiovisual Industry" is an online introductory course designed for technicians, managers, and support staff in their first six months to a year of hire.

This course helps current and future employees understand the context of their job and how the industry works. The online training provides a basic understanding of the audiovisual communications industry and is supplemented by a learner's workbook and manager's guide. This course has also been designed for easy integration into electronics and/or broadcast/media technical and vocational education programs by secondary school and post-secondary school instructors and mentors.

“Despite the current economy, the AV industry nevertheless faces a shortage of qualified workers over the next five years,” states Randy Lemke, ICIA’s executive director. “Quick Start is a key component of ICIA’s strategy for workforce development. It is designed to bring individuals new to the AV industry the kind of basic information that is necessary for them to be able to quickly come up to speed. It is also a great way to introduce high school and college students who are in the process of determining career direction to the great opportunities our industry offers.”

A recent posting to the Quick Start bulletin board underscores this need and illustrates an opportunity for ICIA to work with potential employees: “I was wondering if anyone can give me advice on getting into this wonderful field. I have the skills from previous work, but I'm not sure where to start. Any help is appreciated.”

The course consists of approximately three hours of interactive online training plus bonus materials for both the manager/advisor and employee/student. ICIA members have long stated that they don’t have time to develop their own programs and exercises for new employees.

This course makes it easy for a manager to coordinate hands-on practice with concepts learned through Quick Start. Topics include in-depth discussion of various roles in the industry, the distribution channel, vertical markets, team concepts, as well as introductions to basic technical concepts like the difference between analog and digital, factors to consider in visual and audio environments, and applications of the technology. It is a perfect lead-in to ICIA’s more advanced science and technology online course, "Essentials of the AV Industry."

The Quick Start training program is free to ICIA members, and is free to non-members for a limited time only. To register, simply go to www.infocomm.org/education/online.