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A Booming Career Opportunity: A World Shortage of Trained Pyrotechnicians Looms Ahead for the Firework Industry in the New Millennium.

RIALTO, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--June 19, 1998--

Pyro Spectaculars, One of the Nation's Largest Fireworks

Companies, Begins Training Aspiring Pyrotechnicians at its

150-Acre Facility in Rialto, Calif.

Jim Souza, president of Pyro Spectaculars Inc., of Rialto, is looking for a few good men and women to help brighten the millennium.

According to Souza, who runs one of the largest fireworks companies in the nation, the fireworks industry is facing a worldwide shortage of trained pyrotechnicians for upcoming international New Year's celebrations and the Fourth of July in the years 1999 through 2001.

"Our company alone is going to need an additional 100 to 150 trained pyrotechnicians to handle the demand," said Souza. "On July 5, that's when we'll really kick our Millennium preparations into high gear."

The Souza family has been in business nearly 100 years, and is renowned for putting on spectacular fireworks displays in the United States and around the world. Pyro Spectaculars staged the firework shows for the opening and closing ceremonies of the 1996 Olympic Games.

The company produces more than 1,500 shows annually, including more than 350 shows in the United States and California on the Fourth of July. Pyro Spectaculars captured the 1997 Grand Prize at the International Festival of Fireworks in Japan.

As part of his lifelong dream to expand his company internationally, Souza has formed a consortium of European and Asian fireworks companies called Global Pyrotechnics Network (GPN). The network is designed to develop resources for an awe-inspiring fireworks display tied into the year 2000. Souza hopes to align GPN with international businesses in providing those companies with sponsorship possibilities.

"This is not just a big fireworks show. We want to bring a strategic global vision to our effort while working with local cities in other countries to help entertain their audiences," said Souza.

"We provide all the technicians, equipment and the creative concepts as well as train the local pyrotechnicians and share their techniques. We want to put on a show in every time zone for the millennium, called Pyro Wave 2000. We've never staged anything quite like this," Souza added.

Earlier this month, Pyro Spectaculars staged a series of successful firework shows in Manila, Philippines, for their Centennial Celebration.

"That was really the test pilot for our millennium plans," said Souza. "We worked well with the local company in Manila. But more than anything, the response was amazing from the people there. I felt we had added some light to their lives."

For years, the fireworks industry has been somewhat of a family-dominated culture. But increased demand both in the United States and internationally for firework exhibitions has forced the firework industry to open its doors and increase opportunity in its ranks. As a result, Pyro Spectaculars, run by the Souza family for four generations, now offers a one-year training program for aspiring pyrotechnicians. Call it Pyro U.

"We have a bigger vision now," said Souza, who sees himself as an artist in the sky. "We want to spread our company's message around the world. Fireworks is really a universal language. It can no longer be a secret cult. The bottom line is that we make people happy."

CONTACT: Pyro Spectaculars, Rialto

Jim Souza, 888/477-PYRO


Miller/Geer & Associates

Jay Geer, George Pappas or Al Arizmendez, 562/467-2020
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Publication:Business Wire
Date:Jun 19, 1998
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