Lt. Gov. launches 5G Readiness Program during campus visit

Husted and Tressel
YSU President Jim Tressel and Lt. Gov. Jon Husted at this week's announcement of the 5G Readiness Program at YSU.

Ohio Lt. Governor Jon Husted, who serves as director of the Governor’s Office of Workforce Transformation, visited Youngstown State University on Monday, Oct. 18 to the launch the Broadband and 5G Sector Partnership Grant application and the 5G Readiness Programs at YSU and Ashland University.

Both announcements are part of a larger effort by OWT and BroadbandOhio to grow the workforce
needed to expand broadband access and 5G in Ohio.

The “Strengthening Ohio’s Broadband & 5G Workforce” Strategy, released in September, calls
for a Broadband and 5G Sector Partnership to design and distribute curriculum and training
programs that will supply the industry with a skilled workforce. Ohio’s colleges and universities
will have the opportunity to apply for the sector partnership, and as part of their application,
they will identify a nonprofit telecommunications industry partner that will lead the effort. The
grant application opens on October 25th and closes on December 17, 2021. The grant award
will be announced in January.

“Through BroadbandOhio, our administration is aggressively working to expand high-speed
internet access around Ohio, but we can’t build the infrastructure without programs to train
and produce a workforce,” said Lt. Governor Husted. “This sector partnership will spur the
creation of even more training programs in the state, allowing more Ohioans to earn the skills
and credentials needed to get a job in this fast-growing industry.”

To ensure that Ohio has a skilled and prepared workforce to fill these broadband and 5G jobs,
the strategy also outlines a plan for increasing broadband industry career awareness and
creating more training and education programs in the state. The two 5G Readiness Programs
announced today will provide students with an understanding of the core fundamentals of 5G, 
which will allow them to start their careers in the telecommunications industry in a higher
position, with a higher wage.

“Ohio provides students with a significant opportunity when it comes to postsecondary
education, due in part to these kinds of innovative programs,” said Ohio Department of
Higher Education Chancellor Randy Gardner. “The 5G Readiness Programs will create a
pipeline of skilled workers for in-demand jobs and prepare them for success today, tomorrow,
and beyond.”

Lt. Governor Husted traveled to YSU to promote the 5G Readiness Program, which will launch in the Spring of 2022 at YSU and Ashland University. The program is 80 hours and will cover a variety of topics, including
Cellular Communication Theories, 5G Technologies, Fiber for Wireless, Wi-Fi Integration, and
more. The State of Ohio identified this program as a plug-and-play model to bring to Ohio, worked
to identify the institutions that would host this program, and provided initial funding to launch
the program.

“We want to thank the Lt. Governor and the Wireless Infrastructure Association for bringing
quality industry training programs to YSU and Youngstown/Mahoning region. The growth 
and impact of 5G emerging technology jobs will be a catalyst to creating prosperity for our
region,” said Youngstown State University President Jim Tressel.

“YSU is excited to be a part of this pilot training program and the state’s effort to create the future workforce for the
broadband industry. We look forward to working with WIA member companies on creating internships and apprenticeship for students in these programs.”

“Ashland University is proud to partner with the State of Ohio to provide quality employment
opportunities and expand 5G access,” said Ashland University President Carlos Campo. “This
training program reflects our state’s solid leadership, which focuses on the jobs of tomorrow
and improving Ohioans' lives today. Including higher education institutions like AU and YSU
establishes a framework to build upon in the future.”

“Wireless Infrastructure Association is thrilled about this partnership with Youngstown
State University and Ashland University,” said Rikin Thakker, Chief Technology Officer at
WIA. “Our "5G Readiness" training will address the skill-gaps we are facing in the broadband
industry. Through this partnership, Ohio will not only create high-skilled workforce needed to
deploy 5G networks but will also build the broadband infrastructure faster to bridge the digital