Telecom tower workers are in demand – Wake Tech launches program to train more

Date Published:

by Rick Smith — June 4, 2021

As service providers continue to build out 5G and other wireless networks, Wake Tech is launching a program designed to help train workers for jobs in tower communucations. People who aren’t afraid of heights and enjoy working outdoors are in demand.

The four-week initiative launches later this month and is the first in North Carolina. Wake tech is only the third college to offer the program, the school says.

“The rapid evolution of wireless technology, propelled by the conversion from 4G to 5G, has led to a major shortage in skilled tower technicians across the country,” says Todd Schlekeway, CEO of NATE: The Communications Infrastructure Contractors Association, in a statement provided by Wake Tech. “I get calls from companies in search of qualified technicians on a weekly basis. NATE views community college programs like this one at Wake Tech as being vital to developing a future pipeline of skilled technicians that are necessary to accomplish North Carolina’s and the country’s ubiquitous connectivity goals

Wake Tech is working with Tower Engineering Professionals, a Raleigh firm, to offer the pre-apprenticeship program that includes classroom instruction and on-the-job training. The company also said it is expecting to hire 150 tower technicians a year.

WakeWorks Apprenticeship, which is funded by Wake County, will pay for tuition and expenses, Wake Tech noted.

Get the top stories in your inbox every afternoon

To help publicize the launch, Wake Tech President Scott Ralls participated in a tower practice climb on Tuesday.

“We’re thrilled to partner with Tower Engineering Professionals on this much-needed Telecommunications Tower Technician program,” Ralls said. “This is exactly what WakeWorks was designed for – to bring new opportunities that lead to greater economic mobility for Wake County residents and a stronger workforce for our community.

Andy Haldane, CEO of Tower Engineering Professionals, said the program “is a great opportunity for future technicians to gain a leg up on competition as they enter the workforce and for us as a company to attract and retain new talent.”

Training will include:

  • safety
  • rigging
  • fall protection
  • principles of electricity
  • fiber optics
  • wireless technology cell components

Original Source: WRAL TechWire