The AV industry is immense and growing. Its culture is vital and rich. And the career opportunities are incredible, especially when you consider the relative ease of entry into our industry. So why do so many AV integrators and manufacturers struggle to hire? The NSCA Education Foundation hired me to help address this issue, which is a pain point for a vast cross-section of AV integrators.

It didn’t take long to see where our industry was coming up short. We weren’t reaching out to young people. We had spotty connections to educators and influencers. And we were saddled with a reputation that dates back to an era when “AV” conjured images of high school nerds pushing projectors around on carts.

We needed to get our story out – because we had a fantastic story to tell. As NSCA Education Foundation Program Director, I met with integrators, manufacturers, educators and students around the country to gather information and achieve buy-in for a program unique to our industry. We called it IGNITE.

This endeavor was all about connection and activation on a grassroots level. The heart of it: a program that communicated the opportunities available in AV, matched young people with industry mentors, engaged educators to identify career candidates, provided scholarships to students, and made it easy for employers to reach prospective hires. I oversaw the fundamental brand work and web development, and led an ambitious education campaign to mobilize our industry. Today IGNITE is more vital than ever, and it will only keep growing – along with the incredible opportunities it represents.