Last week the Fiber Broadband Association (FBA) announced its Optical Telecom Installation Certification (OpTIC) Program. The program features a curriculum designed by experts in the fiber community to quickly scale technical education, fill the existing fiber skills gap and accelerate fiber deployments across North America.
The program will be offered nationwide through vocational schools, community colleges and veteran training programs. Wilson Community College in Wilson, NC, will be the first to pilot the OpTICS curriculum, consisting of 144 hours of combined class and lab courses followed by a 2,000-hour apprenticeship that is fully approved and recognized by the U.S. Department of Labor. The Fiber Broadband Association and its OpTICS apprenticeship program is recognized by the U.S. Department of Labor as a National Program sponsor, eligible for state and federal grants.
The program will include technical content for today’s fiber technician as well as hands-on practice, with the goal of compressing the time needed to equip them to be safe and productive in the field. Participants that complete the program will be certified as an FBA Accredited OpTIC Technician.
“The Fiber Broadband Association is responding to the needs of service providers in anticipation of the U.S. government’s infrastructure plan to dedicate $65 billion on broadband build-outs across the nation,” said Mark Boxer, FBA Board Member, lead for FBA training and certification program and Technical Manager, Solutions and Applications Engineering at OFS. “We are addressing the fiber workforce shortage with the OpTIC program, providing relevant training to equip workers with the knowledge and skills needed to build fiber networks.”