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Missouri, Nebraska Broadcast Associations Partner with SBE to Offer Tech Training

SBE Technical Professional Training Program
(Image credit: SBE)

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind.—At a time when the broadcast industry is facing an aging tech workforce and struggling to replace retiring engineers, the Missouri Broadcasters Association (MBA) and Nebraska Broadcasters Association (NBA) have launched efforts to cover the cost of training tech talent by reimbursing individuals who join the SBE Technical Professional Training Program. 

Missouri launched its program in 2021, and Nebraska launched its program in January 2022.

At the beginning of 2021, the Society of Broadcast Engineers (SBE) created the Technical Professional Training Program (TPTP) as a way to help broadcasters adequately fulfill their long term technical staffing needs. 

Since its launch, 33 people have participated in the SBE TPTP and several state broadcast associations have expressed interest in enrolling new technical talent. 

The MBA provides the subsidy as a member service. 

The NBA has limited enrollment to one enrollee per dues-paying station employment unit. Up to 12 enrollees will be accepted on a first-come, first-serve basis for calendar year 2022.

"The MBA recognizes that many of our member station engineers have retired, or are threatening retirement, and managers are finding it difficult to replace them,” explained Terry Beth Harper, director of member services for the MBA. “The SBE’s Technical Professional Training Program is a great solution to prepare someone already at the station who might be able to slip into that role." 

"Our industry has been fortunate to have such tremendous service from countless broadcast engineers. These talented men and women are retiring faster than we can replace them," notes Jim Timm, president and executive director of the NBA. "Recognizing that many stations have a person or two on staff with some technical aptitude, we feel the SBE's TPT is an ideal way to help them expand their capabilities and potentially, groom some future engineers for NBA member stations. Kudos to Mark Gordon and the Missouri Broadcasters Association for sharing this scholarship concept."

SBE President Andrea Cummis, CBT, CTO, added that “the SBE continues to increase its education efforts, which includes the TPT. The Nebraska Broadcasters Association and Missouri Broadcasters Association have actively embraced the program, which will hopefully serve as models for other state associations to follow.”

The goal of the Technical Professional Training Program is to train new entrants to the field of broadcast technology and includes the following elements: 

  • The extensive Webinars by SBE collection developed and cataloged for on-demand use of SBE members is regularly expanded and updated to reflect the latest developments in the industry. The advent of SBE MemberPlus provides access to the library for a fixed annual fee.
  • The SBE Engineering Handbook is a hard-copy reference volume for hands-on use in designing and maintaining technical facilities.
  • The SBE Mentor Program provides new entrants to the technical broadcast field regular access and guidance from a seasoned professional – a personal touch not unlike days of old when the senior staff would take the new person under a wing to show him or her the ropes.
  • The SBE Certification Program entry-level certification (Certified Broadcast Technologist) demonstrates a comprehension of regulatory and technical requirements of station operation. The SBE CertPreview for this certification level can be utilized by a mentor to curate the preparation experience of a mentee utilizing the Webinars by SBE library supplemented with the mentor’s knowledge and experience.

For more information about the SBE and its programs, contact James Ragsdale, executive director, at jragsdale@sbe.org or 317-846-9000, or visit the SBE website, sbe.org.

George Winslow is the senior content producer for TV Tech. He has written about the television, media and technology industries for nearly 30 years for such publications as Broadcasting & Cable, Multichannel News and TV Tech. Over the years, he has edited a number of magazines, including Multichannel News International and World Screen, and moderated panels at such major industry events as NAB and MIP TV. He has published two books and dozens of encyclopedia articles on such subjects as the media, New York City history and economics.