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Husted Announces Broadband and 5G Sector Partnership Grant Application, Two 5G Readiness Programs

Ohio Lt. Governor Jon Husted, who serves as Director of the Governor’s Office of Workforce Transformation (OWT), today announced the launch of the Broadband and 5G Sector Partnership Grant application, as well as the launch of 5G Readiness Programs at Youngstown State University and Ashland University. Both announcements are part of a larger effort by OWT and BroadbandOhio to grow the workforce needed to expand broadband access and 5G in Ohio.

The “Strengthening Ohio’s Broadband & 5G Workforce” Strategy, released in September, calls for a Broadband and 5G Sector Partnership to design and distribute curriculum and training programs that will supply the industry with a skilled workforce. Ohio’s colleges and universities will have the opportunity to apply for the sector partnership, and as part of their application, they will identify a nonprofit telecommunications industry partner that will lead the effort. The grant application opens on October 25th and closes on December 17, 2021. The grant award will be announced in January. 

“Through BroadbandOhio, our administration is aggressively working to expand high-speed internet access around Ohio, but we can’t build the infrastructure without programs to train and produce a workforce,” said Lt. Governor Husted. “This sector partnership will spur the creation of even more training programs in the state, allowing more Ohioans to earn the skills and credentials needed to get a job in this fast-growing industry.”

To ensure that Ohio has a skilled and prepared workforce to fill these broadband and 5G jobs, the strategy also outlines a plan for increasing broadband industry career awareness and creating more training and education programs in the state. The two 5G Readiness Programs announced today will provide students with an understanding of the core fundamentals of 5G, which will allow them to start their careers in the telecommunications industry in a higher position, with a higher wage.


“Ohio provides students with a significant opportunity when it comes to postsecondary education, due in part to these kinds of innovative programs,” said Ohio Department of Higher Education Chancellor Randy Gardner. “The 5G Readiness Programs will create a pipeline of skilled workers for in-demand jobs and prepare them for success today, tomorrow, and beyond.”

Lt. Governor Husted traveled to Youngstown State University (YSU) in the Mahoning Valley to promote the 5G Readiness Program, which will launch in the Spring of 2022 at YSU and Ashland University. The program is 80 hours and will cover a variety of topics, including Cellular Communication Theories, 5G Technologies, Fiber for Wireless, Wi-Fi Integration, and more.

The State of Ohio identified this program as a plug-and-play model to bring to Ohio, worked to identify the institutions that would host this program, and provided initial funding to launch the program.

“We want to thank the Lt. Governor and the Wireless Infrastructure Association for bringing quality industry training programs to YSU and Youngstown/Mahoning region.  The growth and impact of 5G emerging technology jobs will be a catalyst to creating prosperity for our region,” said Youngstown State University President Jim Tressel. “YSU is excited to be a part of this pilot training program and the state’s effort to create the future workforce for the broadband industry.  We look forward to working with WIA member companies on creating internships and apprenticeship for students in these programs.”

“Ashland University is proud to partner with the State of Ohio to provide quality employment opportunities and expand 5G access,” said Ashland University President Carlos Campo. “This training program reflects our state’s solid leadership, which focuses on the jobs of tomorrow and improving Ohioans' lives today. Including higher education institutions like AU and YSU establishes a framework to build upon in the future.”

“Wireless Infrastructure Association (WIA) is thrilled about this partnership with Youngstown State University and Ashland University,” said Rikin Thakker, Chief Technology Officer at WIA. “Our "5G Readiness" training will address the skill-gaps we are facing in the broadband industry. Through this partnership, Ohio will not only create high-skilled workforce needed to deploy 5G networks but will also build the broadband infrastructure faster to bridge the digital divide.”

Today’s launch represents another project related to broadband expansion that builds upon efforts by Governor Mike DeWine and Lt. Governor Husted to expand and enhance high-speed internet access for businesses and families throughout Ohio.

The “Strengthening Ohio’s Broadband & 5G Workforce” Strategy can be found on the BroadbandOhio website.

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