Prysmian Group has invested $30 million to convert its Jackson, Tenn. copper cable facility into a state-of-the-art fiber optic cable manufacturing plant, creating new jobs to help close the digital divide.

The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law requires the use of American made materials and products for federally funded infrastructure projects, including high-speed Internet deployment.

Prysmian has implemented a retraining program that allowed the organization to retain nearly their entire workforce, over half of which is women and people of color. Prysmian’s commitment to the production of domestic optical fiber and fiber optic cable is expected to be a critical component in  connecting rural households across America to high-speed Internet service. 

The $65 billion Internet for All initiative, part of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, is designed to help close America’s digital divide – about 8.5 million U.S. homes and small businesses lack Internet access today, a situation that NTIA is working to address via $48 billion in grant programs. The funding is being used to expand high-speed Internet access by funding planning, infrastructure deployment and adoption programs across the country.

Earlier this month, NTIA announced $930 million in middle mile awards to Zayo, Hawaiian Telcom, and 30 others.

The government is not alone in funding these developments. Private companies have announced over $490 billion to date in commitments to invest in 21st century industries. “Internet for All is not just a connectivity program – it’s a jobs and manufacturing program. Together, we’ll create thousands of jobs nationwide,” Deputy Assistant Secretary McClain-Delaney, said in a prepared statement.

“Prysmian has not only answered that call, but trained a workforce to do it. This company is an example of what we’d like to see other manufacturers do across the country. I am particularly thrilled by Prysmian’s trailblazing work to bridge the gender gap in the telecom workforce.”

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