Is there a capable and strong workforce to meet the demand for an America that is 100 percent wired for broadband by 2023?
This was the burning question that the Broadband Deployment Advisory Committee (BDAC) of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) asked in their 2020 report. The Working Group further found that “considerable doubt has arisen among broadband infrastructure industry stakeholders as to whether they can meet build-out projections due to the current workforce challenges.” Those challenges?
- Training Programs
- Unique Work Demands
- Dwindling Skilled Workforce
- And more…
As the voice for the wireless industry in New York State, NYSWA has a certain responsibility to address these challenges and find solutions to overcome the hurdles before us in order to create a sustainable, thriving telecom industry.
Last year, the launch of our Workforce Development Committee cemented our focus on
assisting with the growth of a properly trained wireless workforce in NYS. Chaired by Tom
Marciano and Douglas Dimitroff, who are joined by Kristin Duffy, Emily McPherson, and Chris Darr, the Workforce Development Committee addresses the gaps between available jobs and skilled workers by building outreach, education, and partnerships to further training and career opportunities.
This year, the committee is focused on establishing on-the-job training, as well as classroom learning, to help our industry onboard and educate a viable workforce for years to come. It is a crucial mission, and one that will take our industry to the next level.
Here’s how they aim to do it:
- The SUNY Impact Foundation | NYSWA Scholarship Fund
NYSWA’s partnership with the SUNY Impaction Foundation is the cornerstone of our workforce development efforts. Through various fundraising initiatives, we are able to provide scholarships to qualifying students each year who are interested in pursuing studies and careers in the wireless telecommunications industry. The program is designed to foster interest among SUNY students for careers in the dynamic and growing NY-based wireless telecommunications industry.
Since its inception in 2020, the Fund has awarded 11 scholarships to students enrolled in associates or bachelor’s degree programs at SUNY campuses.
In 2023, the Workforce Development Committee, along with the Membership and Revenue Committee, are working to increasing revenue and fundraising efforts so that we can increase the amount of scholarships awarded to deserving young men and women.
- The NYSWA-Queensboro Community College (QCC) Partnership
Through our partnership with the QCC, NYSWA provides internship opportunities to students via the NYC Department of Youth and Community Development Train & Ear Program.
Our 5G Mobile Technician Program marries on-the-job training with classroom learning to provide comprehensive training and employment services, along with the support to permanent job placement.
This program is designed to offer students the knowledge required to become eligible for a position as an entry-level wireless telecommunications technician and will fuel the growth of the profession industry-wide.
- Warriors 4 Wireless (W4W)
As an annual supporter of the Warriors 4 Wireless organization, NYSWA works to bridge the gap between the demand for trained communication professionals with qualified service men and women. By leveraging the expertise and skills our veterans brought to their positions in the U.S. military, W4W connects veterans with careers in the growing 5G wireless workforce.
As part of our annual goals, NYSWA provides yearly financial contributions to W4W and works with the organization on employment placement within our member companies. Since 2014, W4W has connected over 3500 veterans with telecom career opportunities.
As the Workforce Development Committee enhances these programs to support the entry into wireless careers, they are always looking for additional volunteers to assist with these efforts. If you are interested in a rewarding opportunity to spearhead new initiatives and grow existing partnerships in order to build a sustainable, prosperous future for the telecom industry, please submit a committee interest form or send in your SUNY Impact Foundation Donation.