WIA Member Sitetracker Releases Industry Outlook Report, Addressing Workforce Challenges, COVID-19

ARLINGTON, Va. – The Wireless Infrastructure Association (WIA) is pleased to share a few key results from WIA member company Sitetracker in its 2020 Telecom Infrastructure Provider Outlook, which touches on the industry’s workforce and COVID-19’s impact on it.

“In these uncertain times, it’s helpful to see this pulse-check on the industry. One staggering statistic is that ‘72% of survey respondents were concerned about skills shortages and finding and retaining talent,’” said WIA President and CEO Jonathan Adelstein. “It’s no surprise so many companies are recognizing that the skills gap is an obstacle to 5G deployment, with the survey finding the number one challenge to deploying 5G is ‘having quality people/contractors to do the work.’ WIA has prepared the ground to bring new talent into our industry through public-private partnerships. We’re helping our members develop on-the-job training through apprenticeship, like the Telecommunications Industry Registered Apprenticeship Program (TIRAP), so that the workforce is equipped and skilled to build 5G. We’re also seeing how COVID-19 is impacting the workforce, and we’ll seek ways to bring new talent into our industry, which will continue to grow even as others contract.”

“WIA is also addressing the concern that many jurisdictions rely on paper filings or in-person permitting processes, which could be impacted by furloughed workers or fewer office hours, and WIA is working with federal, state, and local policymakers to address these issues. We are bringing that directly to the attention of the FCC and the White House as we speak,” said Adelstein.

Sitetracker found that 44% of carriers believe COVID-19 will increase demand for telecom infrastructure as more work-from-home polices are put in place. “At the very least, recent changes in our work lives highlight the importance of communications infrastructure,” the report said.

Recent changes to work-from-home policies have not generally impacted infrastructure providers’ ability to deploy or maintain networks, survey respondents said. However, providers are concerned that government permitting offices could be an obstacle in getting infrastructure deployed.

“We appreciate Sitetracker’s leadership in giving visibility into what’s happening on the ground,” said Adelstein.

Contact Brett Chester at bchester@sitetracker.com for more information on the report.

To learn more about what WIA is doing to solve the telecommunications workforce skills gap, click here.


March 26, 2020

Amy-Gabrielle Bartolac | Public Affairs Manager
Amy-Gabrielle.Bartolac@wia.org | 703-621-0527