WIA, PCCA Announce Collaboration to Train 5G Workforce

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The Wireless Infrastructure Association (WIA) and the Power and Communication Contractors Association (PCCA) announced yesterday they will work together to expand training initiatives to establish a stronger wireless workforce with the skills needed to deploy 5G networks. PCCA has developed successful utility technician training programs at community colleges and plans to enhance them with WIA’s wireless curricula to teach workers skills they need for 5G.

PCCA and WIA jointly briefed FCC Commissioner Brendan Carr on their plans Wednesday. 

Commissioner Carr has made a priority of supporting 5G workforce development.

Commissioner Carr praised the initiative, calling the announcement more good news for 5G. “Community colleges and technical schools are an ideal training ground for 5G jobs, and these programs will help ensure we have the skilled workforce in place to deploy next-gen networks. I look forward to working with PCCA and WIA to stand up more of these programs across the country, creating a pipeline for Americans to land good-paying infrastructure jobs,” said Carr.

“PCCA’s utility tech program is the perfect platform on which to build 5G skills using WIA-developed content,” said WIA President and CEO Jonathan Adelstein. He called the WIA-PCCA initiative a “strong step” toward building a 5G-ready workforce that Commissioner Carr has championed. “Fiber is an integral part of 5G, so we need to train those laying it in properly connecting antennas, as well,” said Adelstein. “PCCA members are uniquely positioned because they do fiber and electric work, so they’re well-positioned to work on small cells on electric poles,” Adelstein told Inside Towers in an interview. “To properly build the networks of tomorrow, we also need apprenticeships like those supported by TIRAP, in which PCCA members can participate, backed by this new training effort.”

PCCA President Dave Aubrey said the, “collaboration will provide immeasurable benefits to participating companies, workers, and the broader economy. We look forward to what will surely be a fruitful endeavor with WIA.”  PCCA works to develop and endorse utility construction programs for technical schools and community colleges.

WIA has developed the Telecommunication Education Center (TEC), a dynamic learning program designed to train the wireless workforce for the future. WIA is also the National Sponsor of the Telecommunications Industry Registered Apprenticeship Program (TIRAP), a public/private partnership that has brought the apprenticeship model into the wireless industry. TIRAP’s mission is to promote safety, enhance quality, and enable advancement opportunities in the telecommunications workforce.

Inside Towers will have more on how the arrangement came about in a subsequent edition. Comments? Email Us.

May 2, 2019

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