Next IMAP Round Focuses on Broadband and 5G
Ohio Lt. Governor Jon Husted, who serves as Director of the Governor’s Office of Workforce Transformation (OWT), this week announced a broadband and 5G-focused Individualized Microcredential Assistance Program (IMAP) round.
This is the third round of the initiative, which helps those who are low income, partially unemployed, or totally unemployed participate in a training program and receive a technology-focused credential at no cost. The focus on broadband and 5G credentials is part of a larger effort by OWT and BroadbandOhio to grow the workforce needed to expand broadband access and 5G in Ohio.
Eligible credentials include Fiber Optics, Telecommunications Tower Technician, Fiber to Any Antenna (FTAA), and the 5G Readiness program. Institutions that currently offer these credentials are eligible to apply, as well as institutions that intend to launch a relevant program within six months from July 1. Training providers who receive awards will be reimbursed up to $3,000 for each completed technology-focused credential issued and up to $250,000 per provider.
“We are working to ensure that everyone can participate in the modern economy, education, and health care system through broadband access, and to do that, the infrastructure has to be built from the ground up by skilled workers,” Lt. Governor Husted said. “These short-term credentials can be earned quickly and will provide excellent employment opportunities for Ohioans to make an average of $50,000 per year or more.”
“As we expand our broadband and 5G footprint across Ohio, we will need the workers who can make that happen,” said Lydia Mihalik, Director of the Ohio Department of Development, which administers the program. “The focus of this IMAP round will help more Ohioans enter the workforce of the future and put them on the path for success.”
Lt. Governor Husted also announced that four schools in Southeast Ohio will partner to offer a Certified Fiber Optic Technician program. Washington County Career Center, Mid-East Career & Technology Centers, Belmont-Harrison Career Centers, and Noble Local School District worked with local industry partners to secure a donated mobile trailer that will be shared among the institutions. The schools will set a schedule for each institution to offer the program for six to eight-week intervals, and then the mobile trailer will move to the next institution for another cohort.
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.
Today’s announcements represent additional progress 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.
The IMAP application period for training providers began Thursday, June 9, and runs through June 27. For more information on IMAP, click here.