Students invited to join new broadband technician training program in Newport

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NEWPORT — In a collaborative effort to cultivate skilled labor in the telecommunications sector, NEK Broadband and North Country Career Center announced a new training program for Broadband Network Technicians starting May 8. This initiative comes as NEK Broadband is expanding its fiber optic internet network, creating a surge in technical job openings.

The three-week course is designed to provide comprehensive training in various aspects of broadband network maintenance and installation. It includes modules on basic rigging, fiber optics essentials, bucket truck operations, and pole climbing. Additionally, participants will receive OSHA training and learn first aid techniques, including CPR and AED, alongside flagging, leadership, and communication skills. The program aims to equip individuals with both the technical and soft skills necessary for success in the field.

In Vermont, salaries for Fiber Optic Technicians typically range from $22.98 to $33.46 per hour, with many positions offering additional benefits. This new training program represents an opportunity for participants to enter a growing field with competitive compensation.

An information night for those interested in pursuing a career in network construction will be held on April 17, from 6:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., at the North Country Career Center on Veterans Avenue in Newport. During this event, prospective students can learn more about the course, including fees and opportunities for full financial support.

Chris Damato, Assistant Director for Adult Technical Education at North Country Career Center, pointed out the need for this training.

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“There is so much opportunity, both in the short term with network construction, as well as the long term with ongoing network maintenance and customer service,” Damato said. “Any time there is a power outage, there may be a broadband outage and similar to electrical line workers, broadband network technicians will be out there to restore service to folks who rely on the internet for their livelihood.”

This partnership between NEK Broadband and North Country Career Center is a strategic move to drive economic prosperity in the Northeast Kingdom. It addresses the digital divide in underserved areas by creating a pipeline of skilled workers who can support and maintain high-speed internet infrastructure.

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