YOUNGSTOWN – The expansion of high-speed internet and the deployment of 5G, the most reliable and efficient fifth-generation mobile network, are expected to create thousands of jobs for Ohioans.
Now, the task is to seize the huge growth opportunity – born out of necessity – by increasing and training Ohio’s workforce for careers in the in-demand telecommunications industry.
And to do so, the state launched two programs at Youngstown State University on Monday: its 5G Broadband and Industry Partnership Grant and two 5G Readiness Programs, the latter piloted by YSU with Ashland University.
The universities are the first two in Ohio to be part of prep programs that offer an 80-hour course that will cover the fundamentals of 5G, including cellular communications theories, 5G technologies, fiber for wireless and wi-fi integration.
Both received $ 180,000 from the state to provide 25 scholarships to students. The course begins in the spring semester 2022.
“Students who complete this program will understand the fundamentals of 5G, allowing them to begin their careers in the telecommunications industry at a level higher than what they would otherwise be eligible for,” said Lt. Gov. Jon Husted, who announced cutting-edge initiatives outside of YSU’s new Training Center of Excellence.
For example, an engineering student with the credentials provided by the course can go directly to the RF engineer job and skip the entry level job. This means a higher bet immediately and the ability to move forward at a faster rate.
âOne of the first discussions we’ve had in this whole initiative is that we want to stack the degrees on top of our current students – and you use the example of stacking those degrees on this engineering student, it makes a difference. $ 10,000 initially and their upward mobility in the future will be extraordinary â, YSU President Jim Tressel said.
âNow our job is to go out and recruit. This is the whole key. We know that there will be more opportunities in our region and in our country than we can imagine â, said Tressel. âOur job will be to make students understand the opportunities available to them. “
Ohio’s broadband and 5G strategy also includes an industry partnership to design and distribute education and training programs to provide the industry with skilled workers.
Colleges and universities in the state can apply for the sector partnership, and as part of their application, they will identify a not-for-profit telecommunications industry partner to lead the effort.
The non-profit organization will provide the expertise and advice needed to align training programs with industry needs, “Ensuring that what students learn will be applicable, will prepare them to be ready for the jobs that are created in the industry”, Husted said.
The grant application period which opens on Monday runs until December 17th. The grant award will be announced in January.
Said Jennifer Oddo, Executive Director of Strategic Training and Workforce Innovation at YSU, âThe impact that 5G broadband is going to have on our community, our region and the state of Ohio is simply extraordinary. “
âFirst, it’s really going to help us accelerate and (help) bridge this digital divide so that more people in the state have access to the internet. But what is even more exciting is that these will be programs in which we can train our neighbors, whether you are interested in this but you may not have a graduate degree, we have training programs to help you get into industry entry points, â she said. “For our university students or those who have a degree in areas related to computer science (information technology), this is an incredible opportunity to really draw on these stackable skills that will be so in demand for the industry. broadband. “