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How Connected Technology Industry Consortium Helps Integrators

Ron Tellas
The Connected Technology Industry Consortium, including Belden, works with state legislators to make sure integrators can continue their work.


As the demand for IoT and connected technology expands, these innovations aren’t only changing the way people live—they’re also changing requirements for the workers who must design, install, integrate, program and automate these integrated systems.


For years, the commercial integration industry has struggled to find qualified workers to fill critical installation and technician roles. For example, a 2024 survey led by NSCA and Commercial Integrator reveals that, when asked to select their most concerning business challenges, talent was at the top of the list for 91% of integrators. Within that group, 41% struggle specifically with hiring installers and technicians.


NSCA has also long shared this industry statistic: “The average NSCA member has at least seven open positions at any given time (nationally, this equals 17,000 open positions).”


When these factors are combined with changing workforce requirements, the gap between worker supply and demand becomes so large that legislative and regulatory solutions are often necessary to make sure needs are met—and to ensure that legislation doesn’t prevent integrators from doing what they do best.


Meet the Connected Technology Industry Consortium

Established in 2019, the Connected Technology Industry Consortium (CTIC) was formed to help the industry overcome workforce development challenges through tangible legislative solutions.


Similar to the way the IBEW, NECA (National Electrical Contractors Association), and IEC (Independent Electrical Contractors) unify and represent the electrical trade, CTIC does the same for integrators.


Belden is proud to be a member of CTIC alongside other manufacturers and several industry associations:

  • NSCA (National Systems Contractors Association), which represents and is a powerful advocate for all who work in the commercial integration industry

  • CEDIA (the Association for Smart Home Professionals™), which ensures smart-home industry advances and defends the rights of integrators working in the residential technology market

  • SBCA (Satellite Broadcasting & Communications Association), which promotes growth in the consumer satellite industry

  • BICSI, which is dedicated to advancing the information and communications technology profession through education and training, standards and best practices

  • CCCA (Communications Cable & Connectivity Association), which keeps the industry informed on topics and issues vital to the structured cabling industry 


Supporting Integrators and the Work They Do

The Connected Technology Industry Consortium works with state legislators to garner integrator support and make sure integrators can continue to do important work. It supports bipartisan legislation that facilitates workforce development through tangible legislative solutions.


These solutions could include things like:

  • Simplifying occupational licensing laws based on a trade or profession’s scope of work

  • Eliminating outdated licensing statutes that do not reflect current consumer and industry needs

  • Creating uniform licensing across states to create better workforce mobility for trades and professions

  • Making sure integrators are classified properly by the U.S. Department of Labor

  • Advocating for technical training focused on emerging technologies

  • Removing unnecessary barriers to entry that exist in the workforce

Monitoring for Potentially Harmful Legislation

While today’s technology systems require well-trained professionals who understand how to install and integrate them to work together, these systems don’t require the same level of training or licensing as traditional electricians.


One of CTIC’s goals is to help state legislatures recognize the difference between the two by acknowledging:

  • Unique and underlying technology considerations
  • Equipment safety profiles
  • Qualifications of electronic systems professionals

Together, CTIC members track and respond to state-level legislation that may, for example, limit the ability of low-voltage installers to install data cables above a certain voltage level.


When legislation threatens the work of integrators, then the CTIC steps in.


In more than a few instances, a piece of proposed legislation would’ve required integrators to find a master electrician to pull permits before installing Power over Ethernet (PoE) devices—even though PoE technology is included in many of the systems that integrators traditionally design and install for customers. If passed, this legislation would unnecessarily exclude a whole labor group from doing their job.


The CTIC helped create model language that PoE, defined as Class 2, is a safe way to get power to edge devices. To show the impact of language like this on the entire labor force. In addition, it petitioned the federal government to create “integrator” as a labor classification. This puts all low-voltage installers, fiber installers and fault-managed power installers in the same single classification.


Clarifying Integrator-Specific Language

CTIC is also working to define the role of the integrator in today’s environment, as well as in the future, to help continue to differentiate the work of an integrator vs. an electrician.


While many integrators use the term “low voltage” to describe themselves and their work, CTIC believes the term “limited energy” is more appropriate because it addresses safety concerns. Integrators specialize in designing and installing technology for voice, data, audio, security, life safety, access control and video systems through non-fire-hazard, power-limited circuits that do not present a shock or fire hazard.


As the role of the integrator changes, the industry will begin to see a shift in the next few years from using the term “low-voltage integrator” to “limited-energy integrator” instead.


Get Involved in Creating Better Work Environments

The Connected Technology Industry Consortium is continuously working to make changes to create a better work environment for integrators while also communicating and advocating for the important work they do.


If you want to learn more about how you can support our efforts, or become involved, visit CTIC online and complete the form at the bottom of the page.


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