FCC Commissioner Wants Community Colleges to Become Pipelines for America’s 5G Workforce

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An FCC Commissioner hopes to mirror Aiken Technical College’s Tower Installation Program in other schools across the country.

In order to win the race to 5G and supply America with future generations of wireless networks, the country needs more skilled workers—and particularly, more Telecom Tower Technicians, also known as “TTT-1s.”

To establish and equip the new workforce, the government hopes to turn America’s community colleges into pipelines for 5G jobs.

“I’ve seen firsthand the work that tower crews are doing to deploy this [new 5G] infrastructure and the challenges they face in meeting the exploding demand for their services. Wireless crews estimate that they need an additional 20,000 skilled workers to complete this build,” Federal Communications Commissioner Brendan Carr said Thursday at Aiken Technical College, a South Carolina school that’s built a seven-week program for students who want to work as cellular tower installation technicians.

“It’s time we build on the success here at Aiken and stand up similar tower training programs in community colleges and technical schools throughout the U.S.,” Carr added.

Aiken Tech’s Tower Installation Program trains students for internationally-recognized certifications, including TTT-1, established by the National Wireless Safety Alliance. The school states that nearly 100 percent of its program’s graduates are placed with tower companies in the Carolinas or in Georgia after completion.

Carr said that establishing more programs like Aiken’s will help close the present skills gap and aptly address the country’s need for more TTT-1 certified workers.

“I’m already working toward that goal with efforts underway through the National Wireless Safety Alliance to establish similar programs in other communities,” Carr said.