Congressmen Dave Loebsack (IA-02) and Markwayne Mullin (OK-02) today reintroduced bipartisan legislation that would create a program through the Federal Communications Commission to establish, or expand, job training programs for communications tower service, construction and maintenance. The “Communications Jobs Training Act of 2019” would provide up to $20 million in competitive grants for various universities, community colleges and technical education programs to develop and administer the training. The bill has been endorsed by the National Association of Tower Erectors (NATE).
“As our nation begins to transition to what is known in the wireless industry as 5G, which will bring consumers even faster mobile internet services, we will need to build and retrofit communication towers to be able to handle the new technology. Because of this, Iowans will see new towers popping up across the state and it will be important that we have a workforce trained to erect and maintain these towers” said Representative Loebsack. “I am pleased to partner with Congressman Mullin and NATE to champion the Communications Jobs Training Act, which provides competitive grant funding for schools to develop and administer training for communications tower service, construction and maintenance.”
“The need to continually expand broadband internet across our country is greater than ever,” said Representative Mullin. “As that demand increases, we must also have a skilled workforce in place to meet those infrastructure needs. The Communications Jobs Training Act of 2019 will create grant programs for career and technical schools to train workers for the construction, service, and maintenance of communications towers. I’m proud to work alongside Rep. Loebsack to introduce a bipartisan solution to fill existing gaps in the workforce and help broadband internet reach more Americans in all of our communities.”
“The National Association of Tower Erectors continues to strongly support the Communications Jobs Training Act, and eagerly looks forward to its enactment in the 116th Congress,” said NATE Chairman Jimmy Miller. “We are extremely proud of our collaboration with Congressmen Loebsack and Mullin on this important legislation, which will provide key assistance in educating and training tower workers so critical to meeting our nation’s demand for greater and greater communications services. NATE commends the congressmen for their leadership and commitment.”
The “Communications Jobs Training Act of 2019” came as a direct result of a hearing last Congress in the Energy and Commerce Committee’s Communications and Technology Subcommittee, where the importance of having a well-trained workforce was a major theme.
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