Jonathan Adelstein, President and CEO of the Wireless Infrastructure Association (WIA), was honored today at the Wireless Connect conference held at the University of Maryland for his work to enhance training and education opportunities within the wireless infrastructure industry.
Dr. Rikin Thakker, Faculty Member of the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of Maryland, College Park, and Vice President of Telecommunications and Spectrum Policy at the Multicultural Media, Telecom and Internet Council (MMTC), presented the award to Adelstein at Wireless Connect, a two-day wireless industry event at the University of Maryland. The event was cohosted by the M.S. in Telecommunications Program and co-produced by Ryan Elm of Integrity Tech International.
“As CEO of the Wireless Infrastructure Association, Jonathan has worked on multiple initiatives and programs designed specifically to enhance the wireless industry’s workforce so that we can deliver the mobile networks our communities need,” Dr. Thakker said. “Under his leadership, WIA created and launched the Telecommunications Education Center, the first initiative of its kind to provide targeted wireless training. He also played an integral role in the establishment of TIRAP, the Telecommunications Industry Registered Apprenticeships Program, which is working toward adding more apprenticeships to the wireless industry.”
In accepting the award, Adelstein acknowledged the work members of academia, industry and government are doing to promote ongoing workforce development programs to address a growing skills gap in the wireless sector as it prepares to large-scale deployment of 5G mobile networks.
“Our industry needs more workers with the right skills to build new communications networks as we expand to carry 5G,” Adelstein said. “And after these networks are built, we need to maintain them. Wireless is here to stay so this workforce is not going away. Labor needs will only grow as the industry grows. We’re off to a great start, but there’s hard work ahead of us and I’m proud to be recognized for those efforts that involve many leaders in our industry.”
WIA represents the businesses that develop, build, own and operate the nation’s wireless infrastructure. Members include wireless carriers, infrastructure providers, and professional services firms that collectively own and operate telecommunications facilities around the globe. WIA supports its diverse members and the entire wireless industry through advocacy, communications, events, and education.
WIA launched the Telecommunications Education Center (TEC) in 2017 to improve safety and quality, reduce costs of wireless infrastructure deployment and address existing skills gaps to meet the needs of companies deploying next-generation network technologies. TEC provides companies with dynamic workforce development programs that combine classroom instruction and hands-on training with online elements as well.
As National Sponsor of TIRAP, a joint venture of telecommunications companies, industry associations and the U.S. Department of Labor, WIA serves as the link between the employers and the registered apprenticeship program. WIA manages and coordinates the development of apprenticeship programs for each participating employer, and fields all inquiries from telecommunications companies interested in learning more about TIRAP.