NMT offers hands-on training for students via CENTRO
By Ken Kerschbaumer
The Sports production industry continues to tackle the issue of finding next-generation talent with the latest effort being launched in Torrance, CA by NMT and CENTRO (The Center for Education iN TV and RadiO). NMT’s facility in Torrance is now home to a state-of-the-art facility where students interested in pursing a career in television and radio broadcasting as talent, production or technical engineers can receive hands-on training from award-winning faculty and industry leaders.
CENTRO is a bilingual broadcasting institute aimed at training and empowering those interested in pursuing an exciting career in TV, radio, and foreign journalists and technicians looking for high-end training, or for those currently in the industry that would like a refresher course utilizing the latest technology and high end digital equipment available today.
Like the industry itself the facility will be cutting edge to ensure students hit the road with as little of a learning curve as possible. “We built a fully operational TV and radio station and studio with equipment currently being used in the industry,” says Mark Howorth, NMT CEO. “We will be training our students on EVS, Zodiak Switcher, Deko, Tapeless P2 environment with Avid Unity. Most broadcast programs rely on using old or donated equipment, much of which won’t actually be seen by graduates in the field. CENTRO is committed to offering practical and applied learning.”
Based on their interests, and career goals, program participants choose from two, high-powered seven-month TV core programs; the TV Talent and Production Program or the TV Technical Engineering Program. For those interested in radio, participants enroll in an intensive four-month Radio Talent and Production Program. Enrollment costs are $12,000 for the TV program and $7,000 for the radio program and classes are limited to 30 people for the TV programs and 20 for the radio.
“Our approach is very hands-on type of training and our instructors are working professionals,” says Howorth. “The students spend at least half of their time creating real telecasts/radiocasts. CENTRO is only lacking the signal to broadcast but we could stream it on the Internet in the future. We also offer real life training using NMT’s trucks as they do live events.”
Rolando Nichols, a UCLA journalism instructor and Univision journalist started the idea on the talent/journalism side, but as the program evolved it become more of a technical scenario. Howorth says a group of minority investors were on board with the plan and Nichols also obtained an SBA Loan to launch this program. He is currently working to establish the Non-Profit CENTRO Foundation to offer more scholarships and be able to diversify the industry.
“[We] are a small investor in the venture,” says Howorth. “NMT also did the system integration on the studio/control room.”
Financing the physical infrastructure is only part of the challenge. Howorth says scholarships have already been given to some students who will begin the program on Jan. 14.
“We are hoping that broadcasters may step up and offer scholarships/internships for the students,” adds Howorth.
Howorth says that NMT will offer positions where possible to people in the Technical Engineering program. After graduation, NMT will help place those students into markets that need their specific talents, depending on which area they have emphasized during the course, like audio, graphics, camera, etc.