WIA Praises White House Talent Pipeline Challenge for Infrastructure Jobs

ARLINGTON, Va. – The Wireless Infrastructure Association (WIA) today praised the Biden Administration for focusing its Talent Pipeline Challenge on supporting workforce development in broadband as one of three critical infrastructure sectors. The challenge encourages employers, training providers and state and local governments to make tangible commitments that support equitable workforce development to meet the demands of implementing the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, including partnering with intermediaries like WIA for support in recruitment, education, and registered apprenticeship expansion.

“As the U.S. Department of Labor’s (DOL) contracted Industry Intermediary tasked with expanding registered apprenticeship in telecommunications, and the industry’s leading developer of curriculum and training, WIA is thrilled to see the White House prioritize broadband workforce development through the launch of its Talent Pipeline Challenge,” said WIA Interim President and CEO Tim House. “With the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law’s historic investment in broadband on its way, now is a crucial time for states and training partners to come together with industry to strengthen the talent pipeline for the broadband workforce.

“WIA stands ready with tools and resources to support states in recruiting and training the skilled workforce they need to expand broadband access, as we are currently doing in Ohio and other states. In addition to these commitments, WIA is looking forward to working with the Administration to create good-paying telecommunications jobs for a diverse group of workers.”

In March, WIA announced alongside Ohio Lt. Governor Jon Husted that it had been selected to serve as the Industry Intermediary to assist The Ohio State University in building out curriculum and training for Ohio’s broadband and 5G workforce through Ohio’s Broadband and 5G Sector Partnership. Prior to this announcement, WIA’s Telecommunications Education Center (TEC) delivered a pilot 5G Readiness training program at Ashland University and Youngstown State University, after being awarded a contract by the Ohio Governor’s Office of Workforce Transformation. The program provided training to equip students with the competencies required to design and deploy broadband and 5G infrastructure and was renewed for a second round in the fall.

WIA also supports the expansion of broadband apprenticeships nationwide as the sponsor of the Telecommunications Industry Registered Apprenticeship Program (TIRAP), which boasts 72 employer partners and 14 DOL-recognized occupations. Through DOL funding, TIRAP provides employers with resources and support to improve their training programs in occupations critical to the expansion of broadband, including fiber optic technicians and telecommunications utility foremen.

Parties interested in learning more about workforce development solutions and partnering with WIA can contact the workforce team here.

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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.

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