A diverse coalition of communications industry organizations yesterday sent a letter to congressional leaders in the U.S. Senate and U.S. House of Representatives requesting support for industry-specific workforce development programs through stand-alone legislation or as part of a larger telecom/broadband infrastructure package. The coalition sent the letter to the chairman/chairwoman and the ranking member of the House and Senate Commerce Committees and their respective Communications Subcommittees, plus the chairman and ranking member of the House and Senate Labor Committees and their respective Subcommittees with jurisdiction over workforce issues.
The letter states: “The ongoing pandemic illustrates so clearly how essential our industry and our workforce are, with so many Americans forced to work, study and play remotely. But we cannot do all that is necessary without an adequate supply of workers. While these bills will not immediately resolve our workforce shortages, they represent a significant step in the right direction. Given the many telecom issues that Congress might address during the balance of the 116th Congress, including initiatives dealing with broadband expansion, spectrum access and mapping, we respectfully request that workforce development be embraced as a technology-neutral legislative priority. “
Organizations signing on to the letter included the Competitive Carriers Association (CCA), CTIA, Government Wireless Technology & Communications Association (GWTCA), National Association of Broadcasters (NAB), NATE: The Communications Infrastructure Contractors Association (NATE), National Wireless Safety Alliance (NWSA), Rural Wireless Association (RWA), and the Wireless Infrastructure Association (WIA).
“NATE is pleased to join our communications industry colleagues in reaffirming the critical importance of ensuring that we have enough properly trained and qualified workers to handle the enormous amount of work that the telecom industry will be undertaking,” said Jim Goldwater, NATE Director of Legislative and Regulatory Affairs.
Click here to view the coalition letter sent to U.S. Senate Commerce Committee Chairman Wicker.
Click here to view the coalition letter sent to U.S. House Energy & Commerce Committee Chairman Pallone.