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OpTIC Path™ Drafted by Job Corps

Over the past two years, the Fiber Broadband Association’s (FBA) Optical Telecom Installer Certification program, OpTIC Path™ for short, has substantially grown from its humble beginnings. FBA is currently engaged with 40 states, 44 service providers, and 70 community colleges and training institutions to roll out the in-depth, hands-on fiber technician training course, with the goal to have it available in all 56 states and territories. 


A large step to reaching that goal was taken in November 2023 when OpTIC Path was approved as the primary Fiber Optic Technician Credential for Job Corps. With more than 120 campuses around the U.S., Job Corps would become the second-largest producer of OpTIC Path graduates, helping to develop the 21st century technical workforce needed to connect every community to fiber broadband networks. 

“Adding Job Corps to our OpTIC Path community marks a monumental milestone for our workforce development efforts,” said Deborah Kish, Vice President of Research and Workforce Development at the Fiber Broadband Association. “Job Corps is powerful in its ability to connect young adults with successful careers and connect industries to expertly trained technicians—that is exactly what the fiber industry needs today. We look forward to congratulating Job Corps OpTIC Path graduates soon and watching as they enable fiber broadband connectivity for communities across the nation.”

OpTIC Path will be first piloted at Job Corps’ Oneonta, N.Y., campus and then adopted by other campuses across the country. Job Corps is the nation’s largest free residential career training and education program for income-eligible adults ages 16 through 24. For over 50 years, Job Corps has helped individuals achieve meaningful careers in fast-growing industries. The organization will offer the OpTIC Path course under its Underground Residential Distribution and Overhead Line Construction program tracks.

“Job Corps provides the free training that can jump-start careers and exciting futures,” said Thayne Bodenmiller, Center Director at Oneonta Job Corps. “Fiber technicians are in high demand across the country, so the addition of the OpTIC Path course provides a great opportunity for our students to train for a career that is highly competitive and valued. We look forward to launching OpTIC Path and helping train the next generation of fiber broadband technicians.”

FBA created the OpTIC Path program in 2021 to develop a trusted training credential and strengthen the fiber broadband workforce. Between federal programs and private investment, the fiber broadband industry is experiencing its largest investment cycle ever, with numerous new networks expected to be built over the next five years as legacy copper and coax networks are replaced with modern, future-proof infrastructure with a multi-generational lifespan. These new networks will help close the digital divide and generate substantial economic and social benefits for the communities they serve. 

However, a massive gap still exists in qualified fiber technicians needed to build and maintain those networks. The OpTIC Path program provides an in-depth, hands-on training course that can be delivered by schools, colleges, training centers, and employers to develop the talent needed to deploy fiber networks and connect communities to high-performance broadband safely and efficiently.

The OpTIC Path program is rapidly gaining traction among employers in the fiber broadband industry. These employers work hand-in-hand with schools and training institutions to ensure a steady supply of certified technicians ready to join the workforce. Furthermore, they are integrating OpTIC Path into their workforce development programs, leveraging it to reskill and upskill their existing employees as part of their overall workforce development strategy.

To learn more about the OpTIC Path program visit