The Ohio State University (OSU) will use $3 million in state funding to design curriculum for Ohio’s Broadband and 5G Sector Partnership to help develop a skilled broadband workforce, according to a press release from Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine.

“The Ohio State University is the right institution to host Ohio’s Broadband and 5G Sector Partnership because of their involvement in this work and strong support from the business and education communities,” said Lt. Governor Husted, who serves as director of OWT. “This Sector Partnership will give the telecommunications industry a chance to work alongside training providers to develop curriculum that will be available for any Ohio institution. This will better prepare job seekers to enter the workforce with the skills and credentials that will help both individuals and businesses succeed.”

Once developed, the curriculum will be available to all higher education institutions in Ohio to implement. The governor’s office said the new curriculum is part of a larger effort by the Governor’s Office of Workforce Transformation (OWT) and BroadbandOhio to “grow the workforce needed to expand broadband access and 5G in Ohio.”

“Workforce development has always been a top priority of the DeWine-Husted Administration, and this announcement, coupled with the additional programs at our higher education institutions, will bolster Ohio’s efforts to prepare workers for the in-demand careers of today and tomorrow while ensuring a skilled workforce for employers,” said Ohio Department of Higher Education Chancellor Randy Gardner.

The decision to work with OSU stems from the Strengthening Ohio’s Broadband & 5G Workforce Strategy, which was released in Sept. 2021. The strategy calls for a Broadband and 5G Sector Partnership that will lead the implementation of the goals outlined in the strategy.

Gov. DeWine’s office explained that as the host institution, OSU will identify a nonprofit telecommunications industry partner to lead the effort. The Sector Partnership will work to design and distribute curriculum and training programs across the state and promote career awareness to supply the industry with a skilled workforce.

“Our experience of the past two years has underscored that fast, reliable connectivity is not a privilege, but a necessity, and is absolutely critical to success in the modern age. Ensuring that every Ohioan has online access, and that the promise of next-generation connectivity – 5G – is realized, requires a well-trained workforce, whose members are expert in the latest cutting-edge technologies,” OSU President Kristina M. Johnson said. “Not only will this important effort bolster the economy by creating new and good-paying jobs, but it will help bring connectivity to underserved communities and support other fast-growing sectors like artificial intelligence, machine learning and edge computing.”

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Kate Polit
Kate Polit
Kate Polit is MeriTalk SLG's Assistant Copy & Production Editor, covering Cybersecurity, Education, Homeland Security, Veterans Affairs