Ohio Lt. Governor Jon Husted, who serves as Director of the Governor’s Office of Workforce Transformation (OWT), Tuesday announced that The Ohio State University (OSU) will receive $3 million to design curriculum for Ohio’s Broadband and 5G Sector Partnership in an effort to develop a skilled broadband workforce.

Once developed, the curriculum will be available to all higher education institutions in Ohio to implement. This announcement is 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 2021, calls for a Broadband and 5G Sector Partnership that will lead the implementation of the goals outlined in the strategy. 

As the host institution, OSU will identify a nonprofit telecommunications industry partner that will lead the effort. The Sector Partnership will work to design and distribute curriculum and training programs across the state and promote career awareness to supply the industry with a skilled workforce.

“The Ohio State University is the right institution to host Ohio’s Broadband and 5G Sector Partnership because of their involvement in this work and strong support from the business and education communities,” said Lt. Governor Husted. “This Sector Partnership will give the telecommunications industry a chance to work alongside training providers to develop curriculum that will be available for any Ohio institution. This will better prepare job seekers to enter the workforce with the skills and credentials that will help both individuals and businesses succeed.”

“Workforce development has always been a top priority of the DeWine-Husted Administration, and this announcement, coupled with the additional programs at our higher education institutions, will bolster Ohio’s efforts to prepare workers for the in-demand careers of today and tomorrow while ensuring a skilled workforce for employers,” said Ohio Department of Higher Education Chancellor Randy Gardner. 

“Our experience of the past two years has underscored that fast, reliable connectivity is not a privilege, but a necessity, and is absolutely critical to success in the modern age. Ensuring that every Ohioan has online access, and that the promise of next-generation connectivity – 5G – is realized, requires a well-trained workforce, whose members are expert in the latest cutting-edge technologies,” President Kristina M. Johnson said. “Ohio State is often at the vanguard of innovation and research, and I am proud to work with the Governor’s Office of Workforce Transformation, BroadbandOhio, the Ohio Department of Higher Education and other partners statewide to develop an interdisciplinary curriculum that will prepare Buckeyes for careers in this growing industry.

“Not only will this important effort bolster the economy by creating new and good-paying jobs, but it will help bring connectivity to underserved communities and support other fast-growing sectors like artificial intelligence, machine learning and edge computing.”

Since the strategy launched in September, Ohio has announced three new programs across the state. These programs are located at career centers, colleges, and universities, and will prepare participants for a variety of jobs in the telecommunications industry. The Sector Partnership will lead the development and distribution of additional education and training programs around the state.

Tuesday’s announcement represents another project related to broadband expansion that builds upon efforts by Governor Mike DeWine and Lt. Governor Husted to expand and enhance high-speed internet access for businesses and families throughout Ohio.

The “Strengthening Ohio’s Broadband & 5G Workforce” Strategy can be found on the BroadbandOhio website at https://broadband.ohio.gov/explore-broadband/strengthening-ohios-broadband-5g-workforce/strengthening-ohios-broadband-5g-workforce.