Thursday, January 23, 2020

Tower Workforce Numbers Need to Climb, NATE, Others Tell Congress

Jimmy Miller, Chairman of the National Association of Tower Erectors (NATE) told lawmakers Wednesday the telecom industry needs to do more outreach to young people to convey the message that tower building, climbing and maintenance is a rewarding career. “We’ve got to make hard work cool again,” Miller said, speaking to members of the Senate Commerce Committee during a hearing on 5G workforce issues. (ed: See more coverage on Miller’s comments below.)

“We take our cell phone for granted. Behind the scenes every day, thousands of towers are being maintained and constructed,” explained Miller, who’s also President and Chief Executive Officer of MillerCo, Inc. Both Miller and FCC Commissioner Brendan Carr, who also testified, said the industry has about 29-thousand to 30-thousand tower climbers, and can accommodate another 20-thousand over the next 10 years.

Fiber Broadband Association President/CEO Lisa Youngers added that members find attracting and training skilled workers “is a choke point,” and some companies are turning down work “because there’s not enough personnel to run the machines.” Miller added that tower climbing jobs pay an average of between $45,000 to $75,000 a year and a worker needs at least eight months to a year of training. Continue Reading

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