WIA to Honor Carr, Johnson, Matsui and Guthrie at Event Recognizing Wireless Workforce Champions

The Wireless Infrastructure Association continues to recognize those who have made a significant contribution to building the wireless infrastructure industry into an essential part of everyday life that it is today and those who are preparing to take the industry into the future.

“5G networks are not building themselves and require specialized skills. That’s why we’re proud to celebrate wireless workforce champions as we continue the complex task of building 5G nationwide,” said WIA President and CEO Jonathan Adelstein, in a statement.

The WIA Foundation will honor the wireless industry’s workforce champions Oct. 1 at the Conrad Hotel in Washington. Among the honorees will be:

  • FCC Commissioner Brendan Carr, who has been instrumental in highlighting the important role a trained workforce will play in deploying next-generation networks. In April, Carr called for community colleges and technical schools throughout the U.S. to develop tower training programs to educate tower technicians to fill a skills gap of an estimated 20,000 jobs that the industry will need to fill to build out 5G. “Commissioner Carr has been instrumental in positioning America to win the global race to 5G through his focus on building a trained, safe wireless workforce,” said WIA President and CEO Jonathan Adelstein.
  • Susan Johnson, Executive Vice President of Global Connections & Supply Chain, AT&T, who will receive the Distinguished Service Award. Johnson has led efforts at AT&T to expand diversity and inclusion as well as to educate the next generation of wireless workers. “Her focus on STEM education, especially for underrepresented segments of the population such as young women and minorities, is making a big difference,” said Adelstein. “Everyone who has seen Susan’s passion about expanding the wireless industry’s diversity and educational outreach understands why she has had such a huge impact on people and businesses that support the wireless economy.”
  • Doris Matsui (D-Calif.) and Rep. Brett Guthrie (R-Ky.) will both receive Congressional Wireless Workforce Champion Awards. “Congresswoman Matsui and Congressman Guthrie are strong supporters for developing the wireless workforce,” said WIA President and CEO Jonathan Adelstein. “They keenly understand that winning the global race to 5G requires a workforce that is properly trained, particularly through apprenticeships. Their work has helped call attention to the job skills gap we face today, and they are driving action to address the issue. WIA is are proud to honor them for championing the wireless workforce and supporting initiatives to prepare for 5G.”

The event follows WIA’s popular and successful Mobile Infrastructure Industry Hall of Fame awards, held in November 2018, which honored pioneers and innovators in the wireless industry. Honorees included Neville R. Ray, Executive Vice President and Chief Technology Officer, T-Mobile; Steven E. Bernstein, Founder and Former CEO of SBA Communications; Steven B. Dodge, Founder and Former CEO of American Tower; John P. Kelly, Former CEO of Crown Castle; and José R. Mas, Chief Executive Officer, MasTec.

Related: Mobile Infrastructure Industry Pioneers Honored at WIA Hall of Fame Ceremony

WIA is invested in the development of the wireless infrastructure industry workforce through two initiatives focused on training, education, and apprenticeships.

The Telecommunications Education Center (TEC) is a dynamic educational program designed to equip the wireless workforce to meet the demands of 5G build-out and deployment through technical skills training developed by WIA with significant contributions from its members, partners, subject matter experts, and academia.

On the day of the event, WIA will offer a 5G workshop training through TEC’s 5G Outlook and Technologies Course open to event attendees and non-attendees. The training runs from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. at the Conrad Hotel.

The Telecommunications Industry Registered Apprenticeship Program (TIRAP) is a joint venture of telecommunications companies, industry associations, and the U.S. Department of Labor (DoL) that develops DoL-credentialed apprenticeship programs available to qualified employers for career development of the telecommunications workforce. TIRAP’s mission is to partner with stakeholders to promote safety, enhance quality, and enable education and advancement opportunities in the telecommunications workforce that will meet network infrastructure build-out needs.

WIA acts as the program’s national sponsor, providing essential outreach and administrative support. Currently 25 employers are in the program and more than 2,000 apprenticeship agreements have been generated.

The WIA Foundation is a 501c3 formed to encourage and promote education for the general advancement of mobile telecommunications. It was created in the memory and spirit of Eugene Bowler, who was a devoted and dedicated public servant and who, through his consistent and untiring efforts, served and enhanced the Land Mobile Radio Industry during his many years as a member of the staff of the FCC.

Its activities are meant to encourage the establishment of academic and training programs related to mobile communications technology and to aid the progress of mobile telecommunications generally; and to establish, promote, and provide scholarships and other grants to individuals, institutions, and organizations to encourage and foster the study of, and scientific research into, matters and issues affecting or relating to mobile telecommunications; and to make the results of such studies and research to the public on a nondiscriminatory basis.

RSVP and sponsorship information is available at https://awards.wia.org