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Expanded Workforce Opportunities to Benefit the Broadband and Cable Industry

As broadband expansion continues in Ohio, so does the need for a trained workforce. It is expected that tens of thousands of jobs supporting broadband expansion in the state will be needed over the next decade.  The Governor’s Office of Workforce Transformation, headed by Lt. Gov. Jon Husted, created several new educational offerings to fill these highly skilled positions through the Strengthening Ohio’s Broadband & 5G Workforce program. 

This program focuses on three key issues: 

  • Increasing broadband career awareness by exposing middle and high school students to the industry through curriculum and internships. 
  • Developing industry-approved educational programs necessary to educate and train Ohioans. 
  • Utilizing state and federal funding to help finance these programs. 

Tri-County Career Center in Nelsonville is the latest school to offer Fiber Optic Technician training approved by the Fiber Optic Association. Other educational entities offering this training include Marion Technical College (Marion), Terra Community College (Fremont), and Vanguard-Sentinel Career & Technical Center (Freemont). The program offered in these schools focuses on the skills necessary to splice and install fiber, which is very important to connect new customers to a network. 

Youngstown State University and Ashland University are offering the 5G Readiness program. This 80-hour, highly skilled program covers various topics, including cellular communication theories, 5G technologies, fiber for wireless, Wi-Fi integration and more.  

Three Telecommunications Tower Technician programs were announced in November. North Central State College (Mansfield), Hocking College (Nelsonville) and Vanguard-Sentinel Career & Technical Center will offer this training starting in the Spring of 2022. The students will take 240 hours of classes in safety, principles of electricity, fiber optics, and spectrum management. 

“I thank Lt. Gov. Jon Husted and the Governor’s Office of Workforce Transformation for their continued focus on identifying new, innovative solutions to ensure Ohio builds a robust pool of well-trained workers,” said David Koren, Executive Director of OCTA – Ohio’s Broadband and Cable Association. “The Strengthening Ohio’s Broadband & 5G Workforce program will help the industry advance our ongoing efforts to connect every Ohioan to quality broadband service.”

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