For Mona Kramer, Human Resources Director at J&S Audio Visual, teaming up with AVIXA for staff training is a win-win. The family-owned business provides creative solutions, marketing, branding, show and event services, as well as design, integration and the full range of technical services. It has around 240 employees spread across 30 U.S. locations plus another 150 or so employees internationally; getting staff together for a training course is a virtual impossibility.
"We are so spread out, but through our training agreement with AVIXA, our team members can do all their AV training online wherever they are in the world, even when they’re traveling," says Kramer, a 20-year HR veteran.
The company pays a monthly contractor fee that provides unlimited access to AVIXA’s online training courses, plus an annual 6-week CTS® Prep course taught remotely in real time for the benefit of technicians studying for their CTS certification. "I can link them up with the teacher from whatever location they’re in, and everyone on that call can prep together for the CTS test, which is a great way for everyone to learn from each other and listen to each other’s questions," she says. After the session is over, team members can jump online and continue learning at their own pace — a real benefit to the program, says Kramer.
It's important to the company to have a staff that thoroughly understands the nuts and bolts of AV, even for team members who may not be directly working with the technology. Administrative staff and junior technicians alike are encouraged to take AVIXA courses such as Essentials of AV Technology and to continue their training online as they progress through the ranks.
"Most of our staff are very positive about it and new employees are impressed that we have that training," says Kramer. "When we do performance reviews it’s a great way to tie in to employees' goals. We can get them signed up with an essentials course, or an advanced technician can further his or her training with an advanced course. It’s great for getting employees to reach their goals and improve themselves."
She sees online training as "the way of the future," where team members can participate from home, over the weekend, during downtime when they’re not traveling, from their hotel room when they are, or even from their offsite workplace. "What's nice is that the training is available to them 24/7 and they can stop and go at their own pace. Some of our team members are location-based, doing AV at hotels, and it’s hard for them to go away to attend a training course; with this, they can go online and do the courses in their spare time."
Would she recommend contract training to other AV companies?
"Definitely. It advances our employees and makes them better technicians and better employees, and gives them a good challenge to advance their careers, both across the board and at different levels," she says. "AVIXA is great to work with and very responsive. Having this available to our staff really simplifies the training process."