(COLUMBUS, Ohio)—Ohio Lt. Governor Jon Husted, who serves as Director of the Governor’s Office of Workforce Transformation (OWT), today announced the launch of Telecommunications Tower Technician Programs at North Central State College, Hocking College, and Vanguard-Sentinel Career & Technology Center. This announcement is 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, identifies the need for a skilled and prepared workforce to fill broadband and 5G jobs. The strategy outlines a plan for increasing broadband industry career awareness and creating more training and education programs in the state. The three Telecommunications Tower Technician Programs announced today will provide students with the knowledge and hands-on experience to start their careers in the telecommunications industry as a Telecommunications Tower Technician I.
“This is another example of how our administration is actively working to eliminate barriers to expanding Ohio’s broadband and 5G infrastructure,” said Lt. Governor Husted. “The Telecommunications Tower Technician programs will help address the workforce gap by providing students with the in-demand skills and experience needed to get a high-paying job with clear opportunities for advancement.”
Lt. Governor Husted traveled to North Central State College (NCSC) in Mansfield to promote the Telecommunications Tower Technician Program, which will launch in the Spring of 2022 at NCSC, Hocking College, and Vanguard-Sentinel Career & Technology Center. The program is 240 hours and will cover a variety of topics, including safety, basic rigging and fall protection, principles of electricity, fiber optics, wireless technology, cell components, antenna basics, spectrum management and more.
“The Kehoe Center is perfect for the Tower Tech program,” said President Dorey Diab of North Central State College. “We have the space available and numerous laboratories already in place to support the training required. In addition, we’re excited to work with new industry partners to provide the qualified workforce they require. NC State is always striving to adapt to meeting the evolving needs of our regional partners. Tower Technicians will be highly skilled and provide the professionals who complete the program will have great careers.”
The State of Ohio identified the program as a plug-and-play model to bring to Ohio, worked to find the institutions that would host the program, and provided initial funding to help launch it.
“Hocking College is proud to be a pilot site for the Tower Technician 1 program in Southeast Ohio, partnering with the state to expand telecommunication training in Ohio and preparing Ohioans for good jobs in Appalachian Ohio,” said President Betty Young of Hocking College.
“We are excited to be part of the 5G broadband initiative in the state of Ohio and to establish a program in Northwest Ohio that will meet the workforce needs and will give students the opportunities to earn in-demand industry credentials and pathways to a great career,” said Superintendent Greg Edinger of Vanguard-Sentinel Career & Technology Center.
“The Ohio Governor’s Office of Workforce Transformation has worked closely with our industry to develop these first-class Telecommunications Tower Technician 1 (TTTI) programs that will ensure the Buckeye State’s educational system is graduating career-ready technicians,” said Todd Schlekeway, President & CEO of NATE: The Communications Infrastructure Contractors Association. “The TTTI program curriculum that is being implemented in these designated Ohio schools will move the needle on the industry’s workforce needs by providing training courses that prepare students for rewarding careers in a rapidly growing industry without taking on college debt. NATE commends the State of Ohio for its leadership, and we thank Lt. Governor Husted for his continued support for our industry and for leading the nation with these important investments in critical workforce development programs.”
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.