Corning and AT&T Launch Fiber Optic Training Program

Classes Have Begun: Corning and AT&T Officially Launch Fiber Optic Training Program

By Bob Whitman
Published: September 13, 2022

Corning Optical Communications is investing in capacity for fiber, cable and connectivity solutions to keep up with surging broadband demand. We recognize the next big challenge is the need for highly trained technicians to deploy and maintain these broadband networks.

It was just a few short months ago that Corning and AT&T jointly announced the launch of a new training program to equip technicians and network specialists with the skills necessary to design, engineer, install, and manage a growing fiber broadband network across the U.S.

Fast forward to today, and we have officially launched our inaugural class.


We invited those familiar with the industry to help provide feedback on the week-long course so that we can improve the curriculum for future participants.  The curriculum took participants in sequential order on the basics of fiber and optical cable, including network fundamentals, safety, infrastructure and fiber theory. They also learned about the different types of cable, how to splice, system builds, hardware and connectivity, and finally, testing and troubleshooting.

All week, participants told me they especially appreciated the hands-on nature of the training, and the emphasis on identifying and solving specific challenges a technician might encounter in the field. People came away highly motivated to communicate to others the value of a career in fiber optics.

That’s good. Because as demand for high-speed connectivity grows, we’ll need a skilled workforce to build, install and maintain the networks. In fact, the telecommunications industry expects 850,000 new jobs will be needed over the next five years to meet broadband demand. We’re doing our part to train the workforce for tomorrow.

The launch of this training would not be possible without the strong collaboration with AT&T, which is always looking to the future while connecting people today.

“By working together, we can help connect the world by building the best networks for today and tomorrow,” said Trey Rabon, President, AT&T North Carolina. “Our goal is to help create a pipeline of people with skill and knowledge to bring advanced broadband to all communities.”

Both Corning and AT&T will collaborate with local community organizations to recruit trainees from a variety of diverse backgrounds and geographic locations and join forces with community colleges and technical schools on a “train the trainer” program. The intent is for trainees to be ready to fill roles at carriers, construction providers and broadband companies.

Throughout the week of training, two things were clear to everyone in the room: Fiber optics is a great career, and there’s never been a better time to get started in it. I can certainly attest to both points: I’ve been in this business for 25 years, and I can tell you the growth we’re seeing, and the energy around connecting more people and more communities, is like nothing I’ve seen before.

 To learn more about the fiber optic training program, please click here.

Bob Whitman is Vice President of Global Market Development for Carrier Networks. In this role he is responsible for Carrier Networks Market and Business Development to include strategy and execution of Corning’s Fiber to the Home, Inside Plant, 5G and Emerging Applications initiatives.

With over 25 years’ experience in optical fiber network architecture, product development and carrier engagement, Bob has developed commercial and technical expertise in all aspects of optical communications. 

Prior to joining Corning in 1997, Bob served as a Nuclear Power Engineering Officer in the US Navy.

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