Two new Telecommunication Training Towers have been introduced at the Oneonta Job Corps, aiming to provide students with enhanced career prospects. The initiative was launched by the President of the Oneonta Job Corps in response to the growing demand for skilled professionals in the broadband industry. The U.S. Department of Labor has invested a significant amount of funding into this project over the years, recognizing the surge in telecommunication job opportunities.
According to Brian Fox, the President/CEO of Education & Training Resources at the Oneonta Job Corps Academy, the idea for the initiative stemmed from instructors who had expertise in the field and brought that knowledge back to the center. This information was shared with the U.S. Department of Labor, which saw the potential for growth and expansion in this advanced training program.
The Telecommunication Training Towers will provide students, such as Tre Searl, with practical experience in working in real-life conditions. Searl explains that the towers will help them develop climbing skills, become comfortable with heights, and learn the proper use of equipment. This unique program offers advanced training that is currently open to only 72 students, but plans are underway to replicate it at another center due to its success in producing high completion rates, job placement rates, and wage earning rates.
The curriculum of the program includes teaching students the skills of overhead line work, underground residential distribution, and smart meter technician. Searl emphasizes how the addition of the training towers fulfills industry recruiters’ requirements for practical experience, enabling students to stand out in job applications. Graduates of the program at Oneonta Job Corps can expect an average starting salary of $35 to $50 per hour.
The introduction of these Telecommunication Training Towers not only enhances the skill set and career potential of students but also addresses the increasing workforce demand in the broadband industry. It is a testament to the commitment of the Oneonta Job Corps and the U.S. Department of Labor to prepare future professionals for the thriving telecommunications sector.