WIA and Corning to Launch Pre-apprenticeship Program for Fiber Optic Careers Development, Helping Build the Broadband Workforce of the Future 

ARLINGTON, Va. – The Wireless Infrastructure Association (WIA) and Corning Optical Communications LLC, a subsidiary of Corning Incorporated, today announced a new collaboration to promote awareness of careers in the fiber optic field and provide access to industry-recognized training through WIA’s Telecommunications Industry Registered Apprenticeship Program (TIRAP). 

Through this collaboration, Corning will establish a TIRAP-approved pre-apprenticeship program to help individuals gain access to meaningful, well-paying careers in the telecommunications industry. The program will focus on reaching populations that are currently underrepresented in the workforce. 

“We are thrilled to work together with Corning to build a more diverse talent pipeline for the broadband industry,” said WIA VP of Apprenticeship Deb Bennett. “Pre-apprenticeships and apprenticeships are crucial for recruiting and skilling a diverse workforce capable of meeting the broadband deployment demands of today and tomorrow. We look forward to collaborating with Corning in promoting career awareness in the fiber optic field and connecting more women, people of color, and veterans to TIRAP opportunities at participating employer partners.” 

“To expand broadband access and connect the unconnected, our industry will need to add thousands of fiber optic technicians and network installers in the next few years. That’s why Corning, the global leader in passive optical networks, is excited to collaborate with WIA and broaden our efforts in building a diverse, robust broadband workforce,” said Corning Vice President of Global Market Development for Carrier Networks Bob Whitman. “We look forward to implementing TIRAP’s best practices in our pre-apprenticeship program and coordinating our efforts to recruit, train, and place diverse candidates in fiber optic technician-training programs.” 

As the national sponsor of TIRAP, WIA is the U.S. Department of Labor’s (DOL) designated industry intermediary tasked with expanding Registered Apprenticeship in the telecommunications industry. Through TIRAP, WIA currently partners with 84 employers to connect apprenticeship programs’ graduates with career opportunities. WIA also coordinates with partner employers to accredit their training programs, allowing them to offer nationally recognized credentials from the DOL. More than 3,800 people have participated in the program to date.

Corning has for decades been a leader in training fiber optic technicians, having equipped thousands of engineers and network architects with the skills crucial to designing and installing the fiber, cable, and hardware that are backbone of today’s telecommunications networks. For this pre-apprenticeship program, Corning is currently engaged in actively recruiting candidates from diverse backgrounds by working with a variety of trusted community organizations. Initial program sessions will be held in North Carolina and expanded to other locations in coming months. For more information, please visit Corning’s Fiber Broadband Training Program page.

About WIA                                                                                                                                  

The Wireless Infrastructure Association (WIA) represents the businesses that build, develop, own, and operate the nation’s wireless infrastructure. WIA advocates for the widespread, responsible deployment of wireless infrastructure to enable mobile broadband for communities everywhere. 

About TIRAP                                                                                                                            

The Wireless Infrastructure Association (WIA) is the National Sponsor of the Telecommunications Industry Registered Apprenticeship Program (TIRAP), a DOL-registered apprenticeship program. Since 2017, WIA has administered National Standards of Apprenticeship for DOL-approved occupations established under the program. Graduates receive national, industry-recognized credentials that certify occupation proficiency and expand opportunities for career advancement. WIA supports participating employers in promoting consistency and uniformity in training across occupations to improve the safety and quality of the wireless workforce.

Media Contact: Marshall Miller | 717-951-0795 | marshall.miller@wia.org 

About Corning Incorporated

Corning (www.corning.com) is one of the world’s leading innovators in materials science, with a 170-year track record of life-changing inventions. Corning applies its unparalleled expertise in glass science, ceramic science, and optical physics along with its deep manufacturing and engineering capabilities to develop category-defining products that transform industries and enhance people’s lives. Corning succeeds through sustained investment in RD&E, a unique combination of material and process innovation, and deep, trust-based relationships with customers who are global leaders in their industries. Corning’s capabilities are versatile and synergistic, which allows the company to evolve to meet changing market needs, while also helping our customers capture new opportunities in dynamic industries. Today, Corning’s markets include optical communications, mobile consumer electronics, display, automotive, solar, semiconductors, and life sciences.

Corning Media Contact: John Arwood | (828) 320-3249 | arwoodjm@corning.com