Arlington, Va., (April 27, 2023)—NTCA–The Rural Broadband Association’s Smart Communities program and the National Rural Education Association (NREA) this week released a toolkit providing guidance and best practices for locally operated communications providers and educators to create more awareness of broadband careers among K-12 students.
The Broadband Opportunities and Leadership Development (BOLD) K-12 Career Awareness Toolkit
is the latest initiative in NTCA’s efforts to create a 21st century workforce in rural America and help our country build a better broadband future. The toolkit was compiled by Joshua Seidemann, NTCA Vice President of Policy and Industry Innovation, with assistance from NREA Executive Director Allen Pratt and Joe Wood, NREA Southwest Tennessee.
“The need for a skilled workforce to build and maintain broadband networks across rural America is growing as demand and investment in broadband increases,” NTCA CEO Shirley Bloomfield said. “And where better to find future employees than the very students they are serving? Whether it is hosting students at site visits, working with schools to develop curricula, or even sponsoring esports programs, community-based broadband providers continue to find new and creative ways to engage students and get them excited about a career in the broadband industry.”
“The best way to continue strong rural communities and schools is to effectively train, mentor, and provide pathways to high-skilled jobs for the future,” NREA Executive Director Dr. Allen Pratt said. “We know the best place to train and develop the workforce of the future via our partnership with Shirley and NTCA. Broadband will continue to be a lifeline for the rural communities and schools we serve.”
NTCA has also partnered with Northwood Technical College to provide NTCA members with online access to Northwood’s Broadband Academy courses and “Digital Badging” program to provide employees with professional development opportunities and companies with a pipeline of skilled workers. In addition, NTCA partnered with the Communications Workers of America (CWA) to help make apprenticeship and OSHA 10 training programs accessible to NTCA member companies with CWA workforces.