FCC Commissioner Brendan Carr visited Murphy Tower Service’s headquarters in Carlisle, IA, to discuss the company’s tower tech workforce training programs and then joined trainees on a training climb. His visit was one stop on his Iowa tour.
“In Washington, we continue to hear about the dire need for more tower climbers, linemen, and other 5G workers. And when we get to see firsthand how companies like Murphy Tower are training their workforce and responding to this need, we can take away important lessons and try to emulate these programs nationwide,” said Commissioner Carr’s legal advisor Danielle Thumann.
Commissioner Carr presented Murphy Tower Service Field Training Supervisor Angelo Wiggins with a commemorative hardhat for his commitment to tower climbing and training new recruits. Wiggins started as a tower climber five years ago and worked his way up to his current role, leading new hires through the company’s intensive in-house training program.
Wiggins also participated in a feature-length documentary released last year called “Vertical Freedom,” which highlights six tower climbers working across various parts of the country in all weather conditions (available on all VOD platforms).
Murphy Tower Service has 27 tower crews performing new construction and maintenance work across 18 states. The company offers its own in-house training program for all new hires consisting of a two-week training orientation/course that includes four certifications: OSHA 10-hr, Authorized Climber, Certified Rigger, and First Aid/CPR.
The program covers climbing techniques and technology, and installation best practices. Trainees participate in a blended classroom setting with students climbing all but the first day, weather permitting. The climbers then continue in the field and follow a position progression plan from top hand to crew, leader, when they’re eligible for OSHA 30 and NWSA TTT-1 certification.
With significant federal and state government investments in 5G infrastructure to close the digital divide, recruiting and retaining qualified workers has never been more critical. According to a 2020 published study in Business Wire, an estimated 4.5 million jobs will be created to complete the planned 5G buildout across America.