Verizon is hiring 1,800 additional technicians to support its East Coast broadband expansion efforts in New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Virginia, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Delaware and Washington, DC.
Many of the targeted markets are rural and traditionally underserved communities, and so they qualify for funding from the American Rescue Plan. The Covid-19 pandemic put the need for more ubiquitous broadband front and center as those lacking adequate connectivity struggled to make the necessary shift to online work, school and personal connection. In response, the U.S. government earmarked billions of dollars for various aspects of broadband deployment, through various legislative efforts like the American Rescue Plan, a $3.2 trillion relief package that included about $7 billion for various broadband-related programs. Other programs include the Rural Digital Opportunity Fund and the $2 trillion Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act.
The American Rescued Plan lowered one of the biggest barriers to closing the digital divide — it is simply too expensive to put in the infrastructure that the return on investment takes too long or is simply non-existent, network operators have said. However, with the sector now flush with cash, another challenge emerged: finding the fiber technicians to do the job.
Therefore, Verizon’s focus on training and hiring field technicians makes perfect sense and aligns with moves being seen by others in the industry. AT&T and Corning, for instance, jointly created a new training program, called the Fiber Optic Training Program, that aims to equip thousands of technicians and network specialists with the skills related to the design, engineering, installation and management of fiber broadband networks.
The new Verizon jobs are union positions, represented by the Communications Workers of America or International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, said the company, and are expected to be filled by July 2026.
Source: RCR Wireless