TAMPA, Fla.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Learning Alliance Corporation (LAC), an organization building stronger workforce development for trades, hosted Commissioner Brendan Carr of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) on July 14, 2021. Carr toured LAC’s campus in Tampa, climbed LAC’s 150-foot training tower with students, and provided insight on telecom workforce development opportunities to local executives and workforce board members.
“We wanted to bring awareness to our local community about the opportunities this industry provides our students,” said Fred Arnold, LAC Director of Operations. “5G is a gateway to new jobs, and our students are on the front lines of that technology.”
Carr addressed the demand for qualified workers to build out the necessary infrastructure. During his tower climb, Carr experienced a job hazard analysis, safety briefing, and certification check. Derrick Francis, LAC Director of Training remarked, “It was refreshing to see how much Commissioner Carr cared about what we are doing here at our school, for our students and the industry as a whole.”
Cesar Ruiz, CEO of Learning Alliance explained LAC’s “crawl, walk, run methodology.” Before students can get out in the field, “they need the certifications, the hands-on training and the opportunity to simulate the tasks they’ll need to complete while 200 feet in the air.”
LAC provided training station tours to all in attendance. The group saw areas dedicated to initiatives including rooftop deployment, weatherproofing, structured cabling from outside plants, and fiber splicing.
Commissioner Carr spoke to students about the increased capacity within 5G systems that will lead to new innovations, “There's not a lot of people that know we have a 20,000 job void and we can fill people almost immediately and we need to make sure there's the support structure, that there are loan programs, apprenticeship programs. We're just talking, there's a lot of decisions going on right now in the state and back in Washington about infrastructure bills. We need to make sure that we include in that, pathways for people to get into these types of programs right here. So, I'm really proud of the work that teachers are doing here and of the LAC organization.”
LAC highlighted emerging training technology, demonstrating augmented reality use cases and LAC’s training video game. Arnold explains, “By combining our virtual reality gaming components and Taqtile’s Manifest software, we have produced a unique way to train and develop our students.”
“Many of the uses and applications of 5G are unknown to us, but virtual and augmented reality will be a large part of its growth,” added the Commissioner.
The day wrapped up with discussions regarding LAC’s partnership with T-Mobile and the NextTech Diversity Program – an initiative to help lead underrepresented candidates into the industry.
For a visual overview of Commissioner Carr's visit to LAC, please visit here.
For a visual overview of LAC’s Augmented Reality/Virtual Reality demonstration, visit here.
NextTech Diversity Program
Black professionals make up just 10% of the telecom industry’s network infrastructure field. With $750,000 in initial seed funding from T-Mobile and another $150,000 committed from other telecommunications partners, over the next five years, the NextTech Diversity Program aims to provide career training and placement for thousands of diverse candidates to take on roles as 5G network technicians. Telecom trade school Learning Alliance Corporation will oversee recruitment, training, certification, and job placement of candidates as they create long-term careers in roles such as tower climber, 5G small cell and field tech.
About Learning Alliance Corporation
Learning Alliance Corporation partners with businesses, colleges, and universities to bring U.S. Veterans and civilians stronger training initiatives that equate to solid career growth. By partnering with employers nationwide, Learning Alliance Corporation has created workshops, labs and simulation programs that align the theoretical concepts into real world application learning. This adaptable approach creates learning solutions based on the community specific goals, industry, staff skill level, and corporate culture. Learning Alliance Corporation provides quality instructors, who are highly trained and specialize in the areas they teach. Learn more at https://www.mylearningalliance.com.
About FCC Commissioner Brendan Carr
Commissioner Brendan Carr is the senior Republican on the Federal Communications Commission and served previously as the agency’s General Counsel. Commissioner Carr brings over a dozen years of private and public sector experience in communications and tech policy to his position. Before joining the agency as a staffer back in 2012, he worked as an attorney at Wiley Rein LLP in the firm’s appellate, litigation, and telecom practices. He litigated cases involving the First Amendment and the Communications Act. Previously, Commissioner Carr clerked on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit for Judge Dennis Shedd. And after attending Georgetown University for his undergrad, Commissioner Carr earned his J.D. magna cum laude from the Catholic University of America’s Columbus School of Law where he served as an editor of the Catholic University Law Review. Much of Commissioner Carr's work focuses on expanding America’s skilled workforce—the tower climbers and construction crews needed to build next-gen networks. His jobs initiative promotes community colleges and apprenticeships as a pipeline for good-paying 5G jobs. Learn more at https://www.fcc.gov/about/leadership/brendan-carr.