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NEK Broadband Installer Apprenticeship Program to Begin

ST JOHNSBURY – Northeast Kingdom residents looking for a new job and career may sign up for a Broadband Installer Apprenticeship Program. Free training starts this spring for a career as a fiber optic internet network maintenance technician, splicer or installer.

NEK Broadband is building a 2,800-mile high-speed network to connect every address in the Northeast Kingdom and Wolcott that is currently unserved or underserved.

“We need more workers to get this job done, and we’d love to keep it local and employ as many people from the Kingdom as possible,” said Executive Director Christa Shute.

The course will include safety training, technology instruction, classroom and online work, and OSHA training.

When successfully completed, trainees will enter an industry with potential for high-paying jobs and opportunity for growth. These jobs will first help build and then maintain the fiber optic network. In addition, the training can lead to careers in information technology, smart grid and engineering trades.

The program is offered by the Vermont Community Broadband Board (VCBB), Vermont Department of Labor and Vermont Technical College (now part of the Vermont State University). Vermont Electric Cooperative is providing pole yard space for training. The goal is to get a cohort trained in the Northeast Kingdom.

“This is a great opportunity for anyone looking to start or change careers. We have a list of employers who are looking to hire students upon completion of this program,” said VCBB Executive Director Christine Hallquist.

For more information or to apply for the program, go to Broadband Installer Apprenticeship – VTC CEWD, email [email protected], or call (802) 661-8493.

More information will be available on April 18, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.. at the Fenton Chester Arena in Lyndonville at the Lyndon Institute’s career and apprenticeship fair. It’s made possible with help from a grant through the Vermont Community Foundation’s NEK Fund. Look for the NEK Broadband table to learn more about the variety of job openings to build the fiber-optic cable project.

NEK Broadband is a Communications Union District that includes every town in the Northeast Kingdom of Vermont, plus Wolcott, building public infrastructure to help ensure that every address with existing electric utility service will have access to reliable, high-speed broadband internet. As a non-profit municipality, any revenue created will go toward building and repairing infrastructure and increasing affordability for residents.

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