With over 120 Job Corps campuses, FBA’s OpTIC Path program can provide nationwide opportunities for fiber broadband workforce development
WASHINGTON–(BUSINESS WIRE)–#FBA–The Fiber Broadband Association (FBA) today 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.
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 the 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. “We look forward to launching OpTIC Path and helping train the next generation of fiber broadband technicians.”
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.
“Adding Job Corps to our OpTIC Path community marks a monumental milestone for our workforce development efforts,” said Deborah Kish, Vice President of Research and Workforce Development at the Fiber Broadband Association. “Job Corps is powerful in its ability to connect young adults with successful careers and connect industries to expertly trained technicians—that is exactly what the fiber industry needs today. We look forward to congratulating Job Corps OpTIC Path graduates soon and watching as they enable fiber broadband connectivity for communities across the nation.”
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. To learn more, visit fiberbroadband.org/education-and-certification/fba-optic-path/.
About the Fiber Broadband Association
The Fiber Broadband Association is the largest and only trade association that represents the complete fiber ecosystem of service providers, manufacturers, industry experts, and deployment specialists dedicated to the advancement of fiber broadband deployment and the pursuit of a world where communications are limitless, advancing quality of life and digital equity anywhere and everywhere. The Fiber Broadband Association helps providers, communities, and policy makers make informed decisions about how, where, and why to build better fiber broadband networks. Since 2001, these companies, organizations, and members have worked with communities and consumers in mind to build the critical infrastructure that provides the economic and societal benefits that only fiber can deliver. The Fiber Broadband Association is part of the Fibre Council Global Alliance, which is a platform of six global FTTH Councils in North America, LATAM, Europe, MEA, APAC, and South Africa. Learn more at fiberbroadband.org.
Connect2 Communications for the Fiber Broadband Association