If you want workforce training done right, do it yourself.
That’s the philosophy for Cameron Magee, anyway. Magee, founder and owner of Lowell-based event production company avad3, said he found his calling for the business when he was able to observe professional sound and video technicians as a teenager.
So began his initial apprenticeship, instilling an appreciation for in-depth training.
Magee, a Bentonville native, is now putting that thinking into practice with his own business. On Jan. 9, avad3 celebrated its inaugural apprenticeship program graduates, Hannah Keener and Sebastian Guerra.
Since its founding in 2011, avad3 has produced hundreds of events across the country for academic institutions, retail and supplier brands and nonprofits.
“With a relentless pursuit for perfection comes a need for growing and training talent,” Magee said. “Thinking about the future business environment required us to consider whether prospective new hires would have the necessary skills to deliver avad3 excellence. Our leadership team agreed we had an important opportunity for training, so we created a unique and in-depth apprentice program.”
The paid apprenticeship was a full-time, two-year commitment and provided the same benefits as regular, full-time avad3 employees. The program did not come with a promise of a permanent position, but it did equip the graduates with a unique set of skills and the ability to be job-ready should a future role become available.
The apprentices learned skills related to lighting, video and audio. They were exposed to outside instructors who are professionals in those areas, in addition to their internal learning. They also learned aspects through hands-on learning, both in avad3’s 10,000-square-foot warehouse and onsite at events.
Over the two years, the apprentices went from observing to contributing to running shows.
“Since our founding in 2011, we’ve scaled our team, added services to meet our clients’ needs better, and perfected an approach to producing conferences and events,” Magee said. “It’s great to see our team continue to grow the skills of our apprentices and pay forward the opportunities I received from my mentors long ago.”
Magee said both apprenticeship graduates had accepted full-time jobs with avad3 — Keener as a production manager and Guerra as a production tech. The company has 11 full-time employees.
The company’s next apprenticeship program will begin in June. Magee said there’s more information available at the avad3 website.