The first Sign Industry Professional badges have been awarded to professionals who have demonstrated a comprehensive learning and an understanding of the broad skills needed within the sign, graphics and visual communications industry. The badges are earned by those who complete 70 percent of the available subject area badges offered through the International Sign Association.
In all, nearly 70 online training courses are available, covering a range of skills from digital signage to installation. Learners can pursue individual badges in topic areas. Those who pursue a range of knowledge and receive six subject area badges earn the Sign Industry Professional badge.
"Pursuing this broad range of knowledge certainly demonstrates that these individuals are serious about their careers and preparing for their futures," said Alison Kent, ISA's director of workforce development and education.
David Civitarese, project manager for Poyant, Stephanie Wilkins, project manager for Image National Signs, Dave Jantz, production planner for Image National Signs, and Joseph Rudy from ICON are the latest to receive this designation.
David Civitarese, Project Manager, Poyant
"I found the ISA 'Knowledge Direct' website highly informative and easy to navigate," Civitarese said. "While I have a background in program management, my experience has been in health and human services. However, the ISA training modules have complemented my in-house training and helped my transition immensely. The wealth of knowledge and experience collected by the ISA has proven to be an invaluable asset in preparing me for a career as project manager at Poyant and within the sign industry at large."
Stephanie Wilkins, Project Manager, Image National Signs
Like Civitarese, Wilkins came to the sign, graphics and visual communications industry from another field. "I have an extensive background in construction but am new to the sign industry, so this has been great for bringing myself up to speed to handle anything that comes my way," she said.
Image National currently has 50 employees taking courses through ISA, both for onboarding new employees and growing existing employees.
"This gives our new employees knowledge that would take several years to gain," said Jim Reese, Image National's senior manager of product development. "At Image National, the training is not just used for onboarding or for those new to the industry. We have found that it works well for our seasoned employees, too. Everyone gets busy and gets in their silos. We found that this offers information about what other departments do so that they can develop empathy and learn how to communicate better."
Dave Jantz, Production Planner, Image National Signs
Jantz has been in the industry for 13 years but found the ISA Sign Industry Professional badge training provided insight into other departments. "By taking these classes, I got a better understanding of what others do and what they go through in their positions. I also got an idea of what I would be facing should I be moved into a different position. I used to be apprehensive about trying something new. These classes gave me an understanding that you do not have to be scared."
The Sign Industry Professional program and ISA's online learning training in general are part of ISA's dedication to help sign, graphics and visual communications companies recruit and train workers.
"For our industry to continue growing, we must bring in workers, including those who are changing careers," said Lori Anderson, ISA president and CEO. "ISA's Sign Industry Professional program is uniquely designed to help those who are new to the industry understand how signs are created and the benefits that they offer to their customers. These employees and their employers are to be congratulated for making this investment in their futures."
To learn more about ISA's online learning and the Sign Industry Professional program, visit www.signs.org/online.