Jonathan Adelstein, the President and CEO of PCIA – The Wireless Infrastructure Association moderated a White House summit yesterday regarding the urgent need to train U.S. workers for careers in the wireless industry. Adelstein called on leaders from industry, government, and academia to work together in developing a safer, more proficient, and more diverse “wireless workforce of the future” to ensure that the U.S. keeps pace with the growing demand for wireless data. “Wireless infrastructure will carry the heaviest load in easing the wireless data crunch, at huge capital cost. Our goal is to improve the proficiency of every aspect of the skilled workforce that builds, upgrades, and maintains wireless broadband infrastructure. We need to get the job done safely and properly the first time, so there are no ‘re-dos,’” Adelstein said, while pointing out the U.S. needs more qualified wireless infrastructure workers. Summit principals included representatives from the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, the White House National Economic Council, the White House Chief Technology Office, the Department of Labor, the Veterans Administration, the Department of Defense, and the Federal Communications Commission.
Adelstein saluted the Obama Administration’s recognition that the wireless infrastructure industry is “is crucial to virtually every other industry in the U.S. The Administration understands the role of broadband in creating jobs and economic development, along with improved opportunities for education, health care and so much more. America’s connected economy will only succeed if we continue to meet that demand. And we cannot meet future demand without a properly trained and defined workforce.” He also commended President Obama’s announcement today that a Department of Housing and Urban Development pilot project is being expanded to provide enhanced broadband access for residents of public housing. “Our industry has emerged so quickly that the educational system and training efforts have not kept up. Unlike electricians or plumbers, for example, whose craft developed slowly over many decades and whose technology evolved slowly, the wireless industry grew up virtually overnight — and our technology is changing by the minute. That’s why it is so important that we are gathered here today to make a concerted and unified effort to keep up,” Adelstein concluded.