In January 2017 the Associated General Contractors Association survey shows that 73% of businesses have difficulty in finding qualified workers.

— Associated General Contractors Association

STEPS is an Enhanced Training Program being implemented by the California Sign Association, in an attempt to address this situation, for the sign industry in California.

The CSA Board of Directors (BOD) and Education Committee began discussion in 2016-17, for the STEPS program, subsequently approved by a unanimous decision from the BOD. Once approved, the CSA Executive Committee implemented 7 Sub-Committees specifically for the STEPS program. The Subcommittees are: Curriculum, Marketing, Certification, Training Facilities, Admit/Advancement, ISA/CSA Alignment and Funding.
We would like to advise the CSA General Membership about this exciting new program and enumerate on where we are in the STEPS program as we tackle the biggest concern for all our Members (finding and retaining qualified workers) as we move forward.
The following outline of the STEPS program basics, will hopefully answer at least some questions you may have. Implementation, like any, is not in stone will be considered a “Living Document”; as we learn and find challenges, CSA will address them.


Sign Installation/Service Technician (Core Program)
Sign Fabricator/Assembler Technician (Core Program)
Sign Fabricator/Installation (Non-Electric) (TBD)
Sign Admin/Professional Category (Program to be Company Specific)
Core Programs will have 8 Terms (Six Months per Term), each term with 72 hrs. classes & Study.

A Candidate is being educated 3hrs per week on average. Standardized testing will be given per subject matter. Being educated on specific subject matter does not equate to actual field experience; a minimum of field experience is required to advance in the program.
CSA has put together a STEPS SPREAD SHEET (3S Form) for the Sign Installation/Service Technician curriculum. This form will have Employer, Employee Name and CSA Candidate Number. It is Color Coded for; Home Study Monitored testing, Courses requiring Class Room Participation, Approved Training Sources and Electives. The form outlines 8 terms, subject matter, hours, course number, training source, and per student, cost just to list some.
Subject Matter - Really too much to list - however, to give you a taste; Trade Mathematics, OSHA 10, Fall Protection, NEC Introduction, First Aid/CPR, Ladder Safety, and Ethics/Professionalism. CSA office and staff have more details as well as there is more to come.
CSA has already put together and have available; Books, Webinars, Local Schools, On-Line Training, etc.
What the Sign Industry has conveyed is; employees want to move up and employers want to move them up if they can do more for the company. The STEPS program is a Win-Win in this and many regards – It shows Accountability, Owners/Managers can see the progress of their Employees and Employees earn a Certificate of Completion. During an Employment Advancement process, not only do skilled employees Increase Productivity, surveys show that Employee retention increases as well.
This program will help provide the sign industry’s demand for replenishment of personnel, as well as take care of the Biggest Concern of our Members “finding qualified workers”
For information on how to get involved or if you have questions regarding the STEPS program, please contact CSA at; Ph: 916-932-0021 or email: