The state of Ohio is partnering with The Ohio State University, Columbus State Community College, and the Workforce Development Board of Central Ohio to offer free, broadband-related job training.

“To expand high-speed internet across the state, we need to build the broadband industry workforce,” said Gov. Mike DeWine. “In fact, we’ll need about 32,000 skilled workers to prepare the infrastructure alone.”

Gov. DeWine has tapped the Governor’s Office of Workforce Transformation to manage the initiative. The governor’s office said the Broadband Infrastructure Training Program will cover fundamentals of broadband, electrical, and fiber connections, offer hands on training, and develop digital literacy and academic skills.

The governor’s office also noted that program graduates may go on to earn industry credentials as a Certified Premises Cabling Technician or a Certified Fiber Optic Technician, which the state says could lead to potential employment at telecom companies or their suppliers and contractors.

“Providing this training now will ensure that broadband companies can access and spend the coming infrastructure investments to ultimately position Ohio as a prime destination for new, innovative companies seeking access to the next generation of wired and wireless communications,” the governor said.

Gov. DeWine’s office said the $800,000 in funding for the training center is coming from “recent capital budgets,” and added that the training center will also offer courses in IT, healthcare, hospitality, and commercial driving.

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