The Learning Alliance will offer the Fiber Broadband Association (FBA) Optical Telecom Installer Certification (OpTIC) Path program by the end of the year, according to the FBA.

The Learning Alliance works with 500 employer partners to train candidates in telecommunications. The OpTIC Path course aims to create a skilled workforce capable of enabling the industry to take advantage of the increased funding from the National Telecommunications and Information Administration’s Broadband Equity, Access, and Development (BEAD) Program and other sources.

Preformed Line Products will assist in training and VIAVI is contributing equipment and an additional certification for graduates of the program, which is being offered at the Learning Alliance’s headquarters in Tampa, FL.

The OpTIC program, which launched in March, is being offered or considered by more than 40 colleges, learning institutions and employers in 32 states and two countries outside the United States.

“One of the biggest challenges our employer partners have is finding enough trained technicians. We excel at bringing in those people. Very often companies are hiring individuals directly out of our classes. One of our partners doubled its employees overnight with our graduates and therefore doubled the work the company could accomplish the next day,” Learning Tree CEO Cesar Ruiz said in a press release. “The OpTIC Path program is an exciting addition to our course offering because fiber is pivotal in everything in telecom. The Fiber Broadband Association took great care to create a program that produces fully-trained technicians so they can be more productive on their first day as a new employee.”

Earlier this month, Alcorn County Electric Power Association (ACE), which is based in Mississippi, became the first employer to adopt the OpTIC Path training program.

In September, the Northeast Mississippi Community College (NEMCC) became one of the latest educational entities to sign on. It joins Bossier Parish Community College and a partnership between The Cullman Electric Cooperative and the Cullman Area Technology Academy (CATA).

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