Learning Alliance Corporation (LAC), in partnership with T-Mobile, shared highlights from the first year of the NextTech Diversity Program. Launched in 2021, the NextTech Diversity Program provides career training and placement for hundreds of diverse candidates to take on meaningful employment within the telecommunications industry.
Learning Alliance Corporation shares highlights from the first year of the NextTech Diversity Program. The program provides career training and placement to help hundreds of candidates take on meaningful employment within the #telecommunications industry.
The goal of the NextTech Diversity Program is to increase diversity, equity, and inclusion across the telecom industry by investing in the recruitment, training, certification and job placement of minorities and women. Today, people of color comprise a disproportionately small percentage of all network technicians and field crews; meanwhile the 5G revolution is expected to create an estimated 20,000 new jobs to help build the network infrastructure. The NextTech Diversity Program creates a productive bridge between both of these realities: an industry that requires thousands of new workers and a workforce that must be made more diverse.
“The program is like a month-long boot camp where students will be at our facilities 12 hours per day, six days a week for an entire month. The students won’t just graduate as tower technicians; they will be certified 5G technicians, supporting the industry. It gives graduates the opportunity to choose the path that aligns best with their personal mission,” said Cesar Ruiz, CEO of LAC.
NextTech launched one year ago with nearly $1 million in funding, including an initial $750,000 in seed funding from T-Mobile and an additional $225,000 from another telecommunications partner. This support allowed Learning Alliance to oversee the recruitment, training, certification, and job placement of 50 LAC graduates to 32 different network-building companies in 2021. LAC’s projected 2022 funding will help the organization recruit, train, certify, and place twice as many graduates in its second year.
“NextTech gave me the opportunity to be a part of the telecommunication industry and to get the training and skills I needed to be efficient. On top of that, I’m looking forward to earning more money and having a better quality of life,” said Darius Walker, a former NextTech graduate.
In recognition of Black History Month and the first anniversary of the program, today T-Mobile unveiled expanded professional development programs and curriculum.
“The success we’ve seen in the first year of the NextTech Diversity Program is a testament to T-Mobile’s commitment to empower the communities we serve,” said Joyce Christanio, Senior Program Manager for Supplier Diversity at T-Mobile. “As we continue our work to establish more diverse talent pipelines, we’re asking our industry peers and allies to join us by either funding training for candidates or hiring NextTech Program graduates.”
The NextTech Diversity Program includes partners that represent a wide range of telecom companies, and their collaboration demonstrates a growing industry-wide commitment to bring diverse talent to this space. In addition to the program’s founding partners, LAC is proud to announce six additional organizations joining the initiative in 2022:
- Vikor – With over 30 years in the industry, they are the leading wireless infrastructure provider. Their dedication to the industry is like no other.
- Goodman Telecom – Leaders in Wireless network deployment and cell site Maintenance Solutions with over 130,000 Projects completed.
- Tower Systems – It is a leading Telecom Organization setting standards in safety and quality while providing skilled expertise in an evolving industry.
- New-Tech Construction – Telecom Construction, RF-Engineering, and wireless network services are just some of what the New-Tech team can do for their clients. With over 25 years of experience, their dedication to the wireless industry is unmeasurable.
- Petzl – Leaders in Professional Equipment from fall arrest, work positioning and personal escape. Petzl safety equipment is like no others; they set the standard.
LAC aims to continue working with T-Mobile’s NextTech Diversity Program through 2025, helping to create opportunities for minorities working to develop skills that support fulfilling careers in tech.