Fiber Broadband Association program selected as primary fiber optic training for Job Corps.

(UI) – The Fiber Broadband Association (FBA) announced that its Optical Telecom Installer Certification (OpTIC Path) program has been approved as the primary Fiber Optic Technician Credential for Job Corps. Piloting the program at its Oneonta, N.Y. campus first, the partnership would significantly broaden the availability of the OpTIC Path program across the nation as more Job Corps campuses adopt it. With more than 120 campuses across the U.S., Job Corps would become the second-largest producer of OpTIC Path graduates, helping to develop the technical workforce needed to connect every community to fiber broadband networks.

FBA created the OpTIC Path program in 2021 to develop a trusted training credential and strengthen the fiber broadband workforce. The fiber broadband industry is experiencing its largest investment cycle ever and service providers across the U.S. are looking to build or expand fiber networks. However, a massive gap in qualified fiber technicians needed to build those networks still exists. The OpTIC Path program provides an in-depth training course that can be delivered by schools, colleges, training centers, and employers to develop the talent needed to safely and efficiently deploy fiber networks and connect communities to high-performance broadband.

FBA is currently engaged with 40 states, 44 service providers, and 70 community colleges and training institutions to roll out the OpTIC Path program. Electric cooperatives in Virginia, Maryland, Delaware, Tennessee, and Oklahoma have either adopted or are interested in the program. The OpTIC Path program is also gaining support from employers across the fiber broadband industry, working closely with schools and training facilities so they can hire certified technicians as soon as they are ready to enter the workforce.

Job Corps is the nation’s largest free residential career training and education program for income-eligible adults ages 16 through 24. For over 50 years, Job Corps has helped individuals achieve meaningful careers in fast-growing industries. The organization will offer the OpTIC Path course under its Underground Residential Distribution and Overhead Line Construction program tracks.

“Job Corps provides free training that can jump-start careers and exciting futures. Fiber technicians are in high demand across the country, so the addition of the OpTIC Path course provides a great opportunity for our students to train for a career that is highly competitive and valued,” said Thayne Bodenmiller, Center Director at Oneonta Job Corps.


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