I bet we can all agree, training for jobs in decreasing demand makes little if any sense. However, training for jobs where the demand far outreaches the supply makes really good sense.
Training to meet unmet demand, particularly with people of color is the thought behind the NextTech Diversity Program recently launched by T-Mobile. During the next five years, the program will help train and find jobs for hundreds of minority women, men and veterans in high demand fields.
The program began with the launch of a program to train 5G network technicians, to install 5G networks on cell towers. Recently, the program expanded to include training of commercial truck drivers, another job where the demand is high and the supply is low.
Less than 10% of network technicians are women and about 10% are Black. Because minorities make up a small percentage of network technicians and field crews, T-Mobile hopes to make an impact by completely funding minority candidates through the program.
Graduates of the program are guaranteed job placement with continued career and financial management counseling and support for one year after their job placement.
“Providing equitable skilling and employment opportunities for minority job-seekers isn’t just the right thing to do – it’s good business,” said Joyce Christanio, senior manager of supplier diversity at T-Mobile. “It is our hope this program will offer a cross-industry opportunity for other companies to join us to help build and diversify that talent pipeline.”
5G Tech Training Program
With nearly $1 million in funding, partner Learning Alliance Corporation will oversee recruitment for the program, training, certification and job placement. The program provides hands-on learning experience over the course of six to ten weeks.
About 60% of the curriculum is done on a training or real cell tower. Upon completion of the Wireless Tower Technician Fundamentals Program, the student will also have certifications in: Competent Climber, OSHA 10 Construction/Telecom and Advanced Rigging.
To apply for this program, visit: https://www.mylearningalliance.com/nexttech/
CDL Truck Driver Program
Last month, T-Mobile expanded their NextTech Diversity program to also include an equipment truck driving training program, which will also take candidates six to ten weeks to complete. T-Mobile is contracting with Kansas City, Black-owned, truck driver training school, The New Reflections Technical Institute to manage the recruiting, training, licensing and job placement of graduates. T-Mobile has invested $1 million to fund candidates, including paying for their tuition.
Graduates of both programs are placed with partner network companies including Ericsson, Nokia, and Capital Towers to ensure the country’s 5G workforce and talent pipeline continue to grow beyond T-Mobile’s workforce.
“These programs aim to equip and empower the current and future workforce through digital skills-building and job training that will unlock new job opportunities for the underrepresented and underemployed,” Christanio said. “By directing free resources and hands-on learning to minority communities that have historically lacked access, we hope to offer the tools they need to kick start their careers.”
The company hopes to grow both programs and hire thousands of employees through 2025. T-Mobile’s hope is to garner support from additional organizations to allow thousands into the program for years to come.
“We aim to be a leader in diversity and inclusion, setting new standards for the wireless industry and beyond,” Christanio said. “It’s important we create inclusive avenues for career training for those who might previously have lacked access.”
The equipment driver program is new. Check back on the website in the upcoming weeks for instructions to apply@ www.NextTechdiversity.com