New Program Preps Veterans for Wireless Careers

Warriors for Wireless aims to help connect returning service members to high-tech careers.

The White House and industry groups are teaming up again to connect more than 5,000 transitioning veterans to high-tech jobs.

The White House Office of Science and Technology policy on Wednesday announced Warriors for Wireless -- a new nonprofit program that involves partnering with private sector telecommunications companies to help train up more than 5,000 veterans and returning service members for in-demand careers in the wireless telecommunications industry.

“Today’s employers require a workforce equipped with 21st century skills and training,” said Tom Kalil, deputy director for technology and innovation at OSTP. “Our men and women in the Armed Forces are uniquely positioned with the knowledge and drive to succeed, but may lack certain industry qualifications.”

The program addresses a lack of skilled wireless technicians in the telecommunications industry as well as the shortage of skilled jobs for returning veterans. The program builds on a pilot program launched in 2012 that achieved an 86 percent job placement rate for more than 50 participating veterans.

“The W4W team provided both classroom and on-the-job training, which was a great relief because I wanted to start work immediately after retirement,” retired Army Chief Warrant Officer William Towery wrote in a blog post on “I was of course ecstatic to accept their invitation to work and be given the opportunity to start a second career.”

The Warriors for Wireless program follows the successful Veterans IT Training and Certification program, a partnership the White House and industry launched earlier this year to provide 1,000 transitioning military personnel with IT backgrounds with free and reduced-cost access to IT training and certification exams and career matching opportunities.

The hope is to expand these programs to the more than 160,000 service members who will be transitioning out of the military in the next 12 months, according to Defense Department estimates.   

The Warriors for Wireless program includes support from companies like Cisco, American Tower, Dynis and MasTec, which will provide industry-recognized technical and safety training and certifications to veterans and connect them to available wireless industry jobs across the country.

Futures Inc. also will provide its U.S. IT Pipeline, originally developed for the IT Training and Certification program, to be the centralized hub for matching veterans with training, certifications and jobs as part of the Warriors 4 Wireless program.