Ohio State receives $3 million grant to boost broadband jobs

Lt. Gov. Jon Husted announced on Tuesday that Ohio State University has been awarded a $3 million grant from federal CARES Act funding to develop broadband workforce curriculum along with a nonprofit industry partner.

The Eastland-Fairfield Career Center, which serves urban, suburban and rural students just outside Columbus in Groveport, was an apt setting for Lt. Gov. Jon Husted to announce the state’s latest broadband investment — a $3 million grant to Ohio State University to develop broadband curriculum.

“This is about building a workforce to serve rural and Appalachia Ohio and making access affordable across cities and suburbs,” Husted said.

The lieutenant governor and Gov. Mike DeWine have prioritized broadband expansion. In the last year and half, Ohio has received and pledged nearly a $1.5 billion in state and federal dollars to expand internet access.

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“We have a responsibility to build out that infrastructure, but we can’t build it without a workforce,” Husted said.

Partnering with Ohio State

The $3 million — a grant from federal CARES Act dollars — will go to Ohio State and a nonprofit telecommunications partner that the university will select in the next month.

Brad Spray, network engineer, concentrates as he connects into a broadband router to boost its signal last February in Lowell.

They will develop curriculum that trains folks how to be a tower technician, wireless installer, a member of the construction crew laying fiber-optic lines or even future faculty, Husted explained. 

“The university looks forward to working with the Governor’s Office of Workforce Transformation, BroadbandOhio, the Ohio Department of Higher Education, and partners around the state to develop an interdisciplinary curriculum that will prepare students for careers in the broadband and 5G industry,” OSU spokesman Ben Johnson said.


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