NATE Newsroom:

NATE Participates in Ohio Broadband/5G Workforce Strategy Launch Announcement

Posted on: September 8, 2021 Category: NATE News

For Immediate Release:
September 8, 2021

NATE Participates in Ohio Broadband/5G Workforce Strategy Launch Announcement

(Nelsonville, Ohio) – Todd Schlekeway, President & CEO of NATE: The Communications Infrastructure Contractors Association, praised Ohio officials at today’s Broadband/5G Workforce Strategy Launch Event at Tri-County Career Center in Nelsonville, Ohio. The workforce initiative, led by Ohio Lt. Governor Jon Husted and the Governor’s Office of Workforce Transformation, included contributing $30,000 to purchase equipment and tools for the launch of a new Fiber-Optic Technician training program at Tri-County Career Center.

“NATE commends the State of Ohio and Lt. Governor Husted for prioritizing workforce issues and investing in communications infrastructure training programs,” said Schlekeway. “By working closely with our industry, Ohio’s education system will graduate safe and productive technicians who meet the high standards and expectations of NATE member companies. These collaborative efforts will be the model for other states and enable the United States to continue to be the world leader in communications technology,” Schlekeway added.

NATE is collaborating with the Governor’s Office of Workforce Transformation to deploy turnkey curriculum that can enable career centers and community colleges in the Buckeye State to launch additional education and training programs at their institutions.

During his remarks at the event, Schlekeway expressed NATE’s appreciation for the collaboration between the Office of Workforce Transformation and Association representatives. He also noted that there are 35 NATE member companies located in Ohio that stand ready to assist in the state initiative that will help address the telecom industry’s significant workforce shortage.

“Thank you to Lt. Governor Husted for his leadership and for working with NATE to create these industry-recognized training programs,” said NATE Wireless Industry Network Ohio State Liaison Nicole Paulette from Elevated Services, LLC in Carrollton, Ohio, who attended today’s announcement. “It is great to see my state lead the way on one of our industry’s top priorities, providing a pipeline of safe and productive technicians who can deploy broadband to rural, unserved, and underserved communities throughout Ohio. I am pleased that NATE has continually focused on these member priorities and has successfully advanced a number of initiatives that will have positive impacts for our industry,” Paulette added.

In addition to Schlekeway and Paulette, representatives from Ohio-based NATE member companies Deuer Development, Elevated Services, LLC and Olympus Communications, Inc. participated at today’s event.

A transcript of NATE President & CEO Todd Schlekeway’s remarks at today’s launch event can be read below. To learn more about NATE, visit www.natehome.com.

Transcript of NATE President & CEO Todd Schlekeway’s Remarks at Ohio Broadband/5G Workforce Strategy Launch Announcement Event

On behalf of NATE: The Communications Infrastructure Contractors Association, I am proud to be in the Buckeye State today representing more than 1,060 member companies (including 35 Ohio-based companies) and tens of thousands of men and women who construct, service, and maintain hundreds of thousands of communications towers and next generation networks throughout the country. 

Thank you to Governor Mike DeWine for his vision, and a special thanks to Lt. Governor Jon Husted for your leadership on workforce issues. I would also like to recognize FCC Commissioner Brendan Carr for utilizing his platform at the federal level to shine a spotlight on the communications infrastructure industry’s workforce needs and advocating for more industry-specific programs at community colleges and technical institutes around the country.

It was great to see the Lt. Governor address the BroadbandOhio Alliance, where he spoke about Ohio’s efforts to connect unserved and underserved Ohioans to high-speed internet. It is also wonderful to learn that Ohio is on pace to set a record for the most high school students to ever graduate with career and technical education credentials – ready to enter the workforce without college debt. Your leadership is producing results!

Last year, NATE conducted an Employer Workforce Survey of its member companies. The results revealed that approximately 14,700 telecom workers were needed to meet current and future business needs of our member companies. Tower technicians, tower construction and line and antenna technicians represented 70% of the needed workers. These workers are essential to building the necessary telecom infrastructure that will enable us to achieve the national goals of expanding broadband, enhancing broadcast services and closing the digital divide while improving public safety, promoting national security and maintaining existing towers.

NATE commends the State of Ohio for its leadership in addressing these workforce issues by making significant investments in education and training programs. The Governor’s Office of Workforce Transformation is working closely with our industry on first class training programs and industry-endorsed curriculum that will ensure the Buckeye State’s educational system is producing safe and productive technicians who meet the high standards and expectations of telecommunications companies. Your efforts will be the model for programs in other states that will ultimately enable the United States to continue to be the world leader in communications technology.

Ohio’s mission is NATE’s mission, and together we can close the digital divide and provide for a highly skilled workforce. NATE and our 35 Ohio member companies representing hundreds of skilled workers stand ready to assist as you develop a greater workforce that will build the communications infrastructure critical to making our tomorrow brighter and more interconnected.

Thank you for your time, and thank you Lt. Governor Husted for your leadership.

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NATE Delegation at Ohio 5G/Broadband Workforce Strategy Launch Event:

(L to R) Sarah Watson (Project Coordinator/Supervisor of Employee Development at Olympus Communications, Inc.); Mike Marlatt (Field Crew Supervisor/Crew Foreman at Olympus Communications, Inc.); Nicole Paulette (Vice President at Elevated Services, LLC); Dakota Gray (Tower Technician at Elevated Services, LLC); Todd Schlekeway (NATE President & CEO); Ohio Lieutenant Governor Jon Husted; Ethan Starkey (Tower Tecnician at Elevated Services, LLC); Joey Deuer (Deuer Development); Sheri O’Dell-Deuer (Deuer Development) and Brandon Garbrandt (Maintenance Supervisor Crew Foreman at Olympus Communications, Inc.)

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NATE President & CEO Todd Schlekeway and Ohio Lieutenant Governor Jon Husted visit after today’s Ohio 5G/Broadband Workforce Strategy Launch Event in Nelsonville, OH.

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About NATE: The Communications Infrastructure Contractors Association

NATE: The Communications Infrastructure Contractors Association is a non-profit trade association dedicated to providing a unified voice for companies in the diverse tower and communications infrastructure construction, service and maintenance industries. Today the Association boasts over 1,065 member companies located throughout the United States, Bahamas, Brazil, Canada, China, Guam, Israel, Jamaica, Puerto Rico, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, South Africa, Trinidad and the United Kingdom. For additional information on NATE, please visit natehome.com. ​

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