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Tag Archives: National Wireless Safety Alliance

NWSA to Develop Telecom Tower Foreman Certification Credential

June 13, 2017 —

NWSAThe National Wireless Safety Alliance (NWSA) plans to develop a new certification and credential for Telecommunication Tower Foreman. The new certification will create a credentialing system for industry workers who supervise crews that work on communications structures, whether they are antenna and line crews, construction crews, or structural modification crews.

“The development of the Telecommunication Tower Foreman certification program is the next logical step for NWSA in our progression of offering nationwide independent and portable certification credentialing to the wireless industry’s workforce,” stated Executive Director Duane MacEntee. “The Foreman credential will complement our existing NWSA Telecommunications Tower Technician I and II certification offerings and provide a continued upward path of professional certification for workers as they gain experience.”

NWSA will be announcing an application process in the near future for interested industry subject matter experts to participate in the official Telecommunication Tower Foreman Task Force. Consistent with ANSI accreditation requirements, Task Force participants will be involved in the psychometric processes and test development activities of the NWSA’s Telecommunications Tower Foreman certification program.

NWSA launched two industry-wide certification programs: Telecommunications Tower Technician 1 (TTT-1) and Telecommunications Tower Technician 2 (TTT-2) in December of 2016. Other assessment and certification programs NWSA will likely unveil in the future include Rigging, DAS Systems, Small Cell Systems, Broadcast Structures and Outside Plant/Fiber to the Home and Business.

Industry workers, companies and stakeholders are encouraged to visit the NWSA website at www.nws-a.org to learn more about the organization and its transformative worker certification offerings.

NWSA Highlights First Industry Workers to Achieve Certification

March 9, 2017 — 

Workers Successfully Complete NWSA Assessments; Recognized with
Professional NWSA Certification Credentials

The National Wireless Safety Alliance (NWSA) announced the first workers to obtain NWSA Telecommunications Tower Technician (TTT) certification. The organization made the announcement at the NWSA Educational Session that was held in conjunction with the NATE UNITE 2017 Conference in Fort Worth, Texas.

Industry workers have obtained their TTT certification: Justin McKenzie, Legacy Towers, TTT-1, TTT-2; Scott Jackson, Green Mountain, TTT-1, TTT-2; David Robinson, Legacy Towers, TTT-1, TTT-2; Justin Kinney, EasTex Tower, TTT-1, TTT-2; Don Parker, EasTex Tower, TTT-1, TTT-2; Adam Johnson, Ericsson, TTT-1; Christopher Rodgers, Ericsson, TTT-1.

These individuals achieved their NWSA certification after successfully completing both a computer-based (CBT) written examination and a practical examination to demonstrate their knowledge and skills at their worker certification level.
The candidates were issued an official NWSA wallet certification card that is portable for the worker and can be authenticated through the NWSA’s online credential verification database search tool.

“I would like to congratulate the workers who have officially obtained their NWSA certification credentials,” stated Executive Director Duane MacEntee. “These professionals have the distinction of becoming the first NWSA certified personnel in the United States and will be great ambassadors for the NWSA through the quality, safety and pride they carry out their job duties with on a daily basis.”

The NWSA also acknowledged the contributions of accredited Practical Examiners Chad Alban from PEAK Career Services, Gordan Lyman of eSystem Training Solutions and Rick Teckenbrock from Heartland Solutions for taking the candidates through the fieldbased portion of the examination in Fort Worth. Additionally, the NWSA thanked
Rob Siegel and his colleagues from ENSA North America for donating the use of ENSA’s portable tower for practical examination testing purposes.

Candidates and industry stakeholders are encouraged to visit www.nws-a.org for detailed information on the NWSA certification process, applying for CBT tests and practical examinations, credential verification and for more information on new certification programs.

Industry workers, companies and stakeholders are encouraged to visit the NWSA website at www.nws-a.org to learn more about the organization and how they may be involved.

NWSA Task Forces Hammer Out Certification Tests for Tower Workers

By J. Sharpe Smith

Senior Editor, eDigest

NWSA-100x193The Executive Director of the National Wireless Safety Alliance (NWSA), Duane MacEntee, called on members in the industry to assist the organization as it develops certification programs for workers in the tower industry, during the NATE UNITE 2017 annual conference of the National Association of Tower Erectors, held last week in Fort Worth, Texas.

Last December, NWSA launched certifications for Telecommunications Tower Technician 1 and 2 (TTT1) (TTT2). It also offers the Signalperson and Rigger I and Rigger II certifications through a partnership with the National Commission for the Certification of Crane Operators.

In the development of TTT1 and TTT2, a group of volunteer subject matter experts, chaired by Don Doty, president of the NWSA Board of Directors, came together 18 times to write the test questions.

“Task force membership is very important to the development of consensus needed to create certifications,” MacEntee said. “For the NWSA to become accredited as a certification body, we have to show that we build consensus. The industry tells us what needs to be in our certifications.”

MacEntee

MacEntee

Along with the written exam, which is administered by PSI Exams Online, NWSA gives a practical exam where the worker is observed applying the knowledge on a tower. NWSA has accredited practical examiners. So far, 400 people have taken the TTT1 and TTT2 written exams and 60 have taken the practical exams. Many of those were task force members.

There is no shortage of work to be done. Other assessment and certification programs the NWSA is considering for future development include Antenna & Line Foreman, Certified Climber, Tower (Stacking) Foreman, Structural Modifications Foreman, DAS Systems, Small Cell Systems, Broadcast Structures, and Outside Plant/Fiber to the Home and Business.

“Because of the composition of our Board and Board of Governors we will see what is coming down the pike in terms of the labor force,” MacEntee said. “The industry’s landscape is changing fast and furious and we will need different types of labor. New task forces will be needed to develop those certifications. Please raise your hand and help out.”

NWSA is the brain child of the Telecom Industry Safety Summit, a meeting that occurred in Dallas in the fall of 2013, which was a particularly lethal year in terms of tower fatalities. Carriers, tower owners, contractors, insurance companies and the education community came together at that meeting to find a way to make the tower industry safer by increasing professionalism.

“It was a pivotal moment for safety in the tower industry,” MacEntee said. “We had a variety of stakeholders representing various interests – large program engineering companies, carriers, contractors – coming together for the common good.”

NWSA began late in 2016 taking off on a mission to provide verifiable certification to workers in the tower industry through the assessment of knowledge and skills to enhance safety and reduce risk in the workplace.

“What we are is a certification organization; what we are not is a training organization,” MacEntee said. “We encourage great training and well-trained employees. We want them to come to us and pass a rigorous series of examinations that make us confident that they are true professionals in what they do.”

MacEntee said that while NWSA is separate from NATE it shares the common goal of making the tower industry safer.

“We are trying to create a good labor force that knows the job that they are being asked to do,” he said. “Bad days happen in our industry, but elevating the professionalism in this workforce is key to avoid those type of events in the future.

NWSA Names Leadership, Establishes Headquarters

The National Wireless Safety Alliance (NWSA) announced today that Duane MacEntee has been selected as the organization’s new Executive Director. MacEntee replaces Chuck Slagle who has retired from his position as NWSA Executive Director and is transitioning to a consultancy role within the alliance.

“NWSA is thrilled to welcome Duane MacEntee as our new Executive Director,” stated President Don Doty. “Chuck Slagle’s tireless contributions and leadership abilities have been instrumental in spearheading the successful development and launch of NWSA’s first two certification programs. We are fortunate to have a leader of Duane’s caliber on board to take the baton from Chuck and continue the positive momentum NWSA has established in the communication towers marketplace,” added Doty.

Duane MacEntee is a partner at the law firm of Barker MacEntee PLLC and has served on the NWSA Board of Governors since its inception. Duane is an industry veteran who has held executive roles with large telecommunication tower companies, tower engineering and manufacturing firms, project management and field services contractors.

Earlier in his career, Duane developed and directed safety, environmental and workers’ compensation programs at the North Carolina Department of Transportation and was previously a Commissioner on both the North Carolina Radiation Protection and North Carolina State Emergency Response Commissions. Prior to that, MacEntee was an engineer at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. MacEntee earned a B.S. in Engineering Technology from the University of Central Florida, an M.B.A. from the Florida Institute of Technology, and a J.D. from North Carolina Central University.

“It is a privilege to be part of such a worthwhile initiative and I am honored to help NWSA continue raising the bar to improve safety within the wireless industry,” said MacEntee. “I look forward to working with the many dedicated stakeholders and subject matter experts who support NWSA certification and who volunteer their time and talents to establish the necessary assessment tools to properly evaluate the knowledge and abilities of workers across the industry.”

NWSA also announced the hiring of Shelly Trego as Executive Administrator and Clint Cook as Practical Examiner Accreditation Program Instructor.

As Executive Administrator, Shelly Trego is responsible for various administrative activities relating to the day-to-day operations of NWSA. Shelly works closely with the NWSA Executive Director, Board of Directors, Board of Governors and NWSA Standing Committees to assist in the overall success of developing and maintaining the organization’s certification programs. Trego’s background includes nearly 15 years in the telecommunications industry, serving as part of the administrative team at the National Association of Tower Erectors (NATE).

As Practical Examiner Accreditation Program Instructor, Cook will be tasked with training and accrediting Practical Examiners to administer the TTT-1 and TTT-2 practical exams. Clint is the Safety Director at Centerline Solutions, and played an active role in the NWSA task force developing the written and practical exams. Cook has worked in the wireless industry since 2010 focusing on line and antenna work, structural modifications, and tower decommissioning.

In conjunction with the staff additions, the NWSA’s leadership also announced that its official corporate headquarters will be located in Fairfax, Virginia.  The Fairfax, Virginia office location is in close proximity to Washington, D.C. and will enable NWSA to establish a strong legislative and regulatory presence in the nation’s capital.

NWSA is a national non-profit assessment and certification organization that has been established to provide thorough, independent assessments of knowledge and skills and provide verifiable worker certification in order to enhance safety, reduce workplace risk, improve quality, encourage training, and recognize the skilled professionals who work on towers and other non-standard structures.

NWSA’s Telecommunication Tower Technician 1(TTT-1) and Telecommunications Tower Technician 2 (TTT-2) certification programs were officially launched in December of 2016.  Other assessment and certification programs the NWSA will likely unveil in the future include Antenna & Line Foreman, Tower (Stacking) Foreman, Structural Modifications Foreman, Climber Credentialing, Rigging, DAS Systems, Small Cell Systems, Broadcast Structures and Outside Plant/Fiber to the Home and Business.

Industry workers, companies and stakeholders are encouraged to visit the NWSA website at www.nws-a.org to learn more about the organization.

Chuck Slagle Named Executive Director NWSA

Wireless Industry Veteran to Provide Leadership for Assessment and Certification Program Development Efforts

(Overland Park, Kansas) – The National Wireless Safety Alliance (NWSA) announced today the hiring of wireless industry veteran Chuck Slagle as the organization’s Executive Director. Slagle, who previously served NWSA in a consulting capacity, is a former Sprint Environmental Health & Safety Executive with over 38 years of experience in the industry. NWSA’s leadership announced the hiring at the 2016 Wireless Infrastructure Show in Dallas, Texas.

“NWSA is ecstatic to announce Chuck Slagle as the organization’s first official Executive Director,” said Board of Directors President Don Doty from FDH Velocitel, Inc. “Chuck has been instrumental to NWSA during the organization’s formative stages and in his enhanced role as Executive Director will be able to spearhead the initiatives necessary in getting NWSA’s ANSI Accredited assessment and certification programs to market,” added Doty.

NWSA is a non-profit assessment and certification organization that has been established to provide thorough, independent assessments of knowledge and skills and provide verifiable worker certification in order to enhance safety, reduce workplace risk, improve quality, encourage training, and recognize the skilled professionals who work on towers and other non-standard structures.

“I am honored to serve as the Executive Director of NWSA and look forward to working with the organization’s Board of Directors, Board of Governors, Committee Members and Subject Matter Experts,” declared Slagle. “I believe that the national assessment and certification program currently under development by Task Force members from across the Industry will have a positive, transformational impact on the industry long-term,” said Slagle.

Prior to his retirement from Sprint, Slagle held various positions within the Sprint EHS department, including Director of EHS. He holds certifications in Safety, Risk Management and Business Continuity. Slagle has also held leadership roles with the Environmental Health and Safety Communications Panel (EHSCP) and Wireless Industry Safety Task Force. He serves on the Crisis & Disaster Management Degree Advisory Board at the University of Central Missouri (Warrensburg, Missouri) and the Safety Degree Advisory Board at Purdue University (Calument, Indiana). He is a past member of the American Society of Safety Engineers (ASSE), the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) and served as a member of the NFPA 76 Standards Committee for Fire Protection of Telecommunication Facilities.