Statement from WIA President and CEO Jonathan Adelstein on Administration and Congress’s focus on broadband workforce development:
“We applaud today’s strong statement of support by the Biden Administration for a $100 billion investment in workforce training programs, including registered apprenticeship,” said Jonathan Adelstein, President and CEO of WIA. “WIA has been leading the way by bringing registered apprenticeship into the wireless industry for the first time, with the Telecommunications Industry Registered Apprenticeship Program (TIRAP). TIRAP, which is registered with the Department of Labor, has succeeded by partnering with the Department of Labor in developing an initiative with 58 employers to train many more workers for the jobs of the future.”
Adelstein continued, “This announcement comes on the heels of the reported bipartisan infrastructure agreement that also recognized the importance of workforce development in broadband deployment. The reported deal includes $685 million for state digital equity programs, which can be administered by an entity that carries out a workforce development program. We need a workforce large enough and sufficiently trained to meet the demands of 5G deployment to beat countries like China in the race to 5G. The US needs to reap all the economic and innovation benefits that 5G offers. WIA thanks Secretary Walsh, Deputy Education Secretary Marten, Chairman Scott, Sen. Klobuchar, and Rep. Bonamici for the strong support and commitment to registered apprenticeship and broadband workforce training. Workforce and connectivity go hand in hand, and we look forward to working with the Biden Administration and Congress to develop the telecommunications workforce of the future.”
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The Wireless Infrastructure Association (WIA) represents the businesses that build, own, and operate the nation’s wireless infrastructure. On the federal, state, and local levels, WIA advocates for the widespread, responsible deployment of wireless infrastructure to enable mobile broadband access for communities everywhere.
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