Fiber Broadband

S&N Communication and the Virginia, Maryland & Delaware Association of Electric Cooperatives (VMDAEC) soon will offer the Fiber Broadband Association (FBA) Optical Telecom Installation Certification (OpTIC) Path program.

S&N has been providing aerial and underground infrastructure services to the telecom, power and gas utilities in the eastern region of the United States for 45 years. VMDAEC is the trade association for member-owned electric cooperatives in Virginia, Maryland and Delaware. The two organizations have a long standing relationship.

S&N and VMDAEC are both based in the eastern U.S. and will launch their first OpTIC Path course early next year. The VMDAEC courses will be available to any individual sponsored by a cooperative or company, not just VMDAEC member cooperatives.

The OpTIC Path launched in March. It now is offered in more than 40 colleges, learning institutions and employers in 32 states and in two countries outside the United States.

The announcement is one of several that reflect ongoing efforts to create a large, robust and well educated broadband workforce capable of enabling the industry to take advantage of the great level of investments from service providers and grants from states and the federal government.

“The support we’ve received for the OpTIC Path program is exciting and we’re quickly accelerating toward our goal of bringing the course to all 56 U.S. states and territories. It is an honor to bring the OpTIC Path program to VMDAEC and S&N Communications. Both organizations are well known in the eastern U.S. and have a positive impact on fiber deployments in the region and beyond,” said Deborah Kish, Vice President of Research and Workforce Development at the Fiber Broadband Association, in a press release. “This partnership will amplify our efforts to train a force of fiber technicians that can safely and efficiently deploy fiber and close the digital equity gap.”

Some recent activity on the training front:

  • On September 30, Northeast Mississippi Community College said that it would offer the OpTIC Path program.
  • The State University of New York Westchester Community College (SUNYWCC) is offering a three-day fiber technician training course three times this year.
  • In northern Alabama, Cullman Electric Cooperative partnered with Cullman Area Technology Academy (CATA) to develop a program designed to prepare high school students for jobs that could include both fiber optics and electric lineman work

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