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Fiber Broadband Association Continues to Expand its OpTIC Path™ Program as Sno-Isle TECH is the First High School to Launch the Fiber Technician Training Course

Fiber Broadband Association Continues to Expand its OpTIC Path™ Program as Sno-Isle TECH is the First High School to Launch the Fiber Technician Training Course

FBA’s fiber technician and certification program debuts at technical school in Washington state to jump-start careers in growing broadband industry

WASHINGTON, D.C. – (May 21, 2024) – The Fiber Broadband Association (FBA) today announced that Sno-Isle TECH Skills Center, a free public school in Everett, Washington, offering technical training for junior and senior high school students, is the first high school and latest education institution to offer FBA’s Optical Telecom Installer Certification (OpTIC Path™) program. Graduating with a certification from this course gives students the crucial skills to jumpstart a lucrative career in fiber broadband and helps fill the critical broadband technician workforce gap that exists across North America.

Growing the fiber broadband workforce is important as Washington gets ready to utilize the $1.2 billion awarded to the state as part of the Broadband Equity, Access, and Deployment (BEAD) Program. Snohomish County, where Sno-Isle TECH is located, is one of the most densely populated and fastest-growing areas in Washington state, with a lot of new homes and businesses to connect. Adding the FBA OpTIC Path program to the Electronics Engineering Technology program will enable Sno-Isle to provide students hands-on fiber technician training and certification.

“I am always excited to see that another institution will offer the OpTIC Path program, but adding a high school to our ecosystem of training institutions is a crucial step in the right direction. As the fiber workforce continues to age and many technicians near retirement, it’s important to ensure that the next generation of fiber technicians are qualified, ready, and excited to step up,” said Todd Jackson, Director of Workforce Development at the Fiber Broadband Association. “Graduates of this course will be welcomed into a workforce that will remain high in demand for decades to come, offering a well-paid, long-term career, especially in the coming years as BEAD funding begins to rollout.”

Sno-Isle is also working with local internet service provider Whidbey Telecom to aid instruction. With the help of this local ISP, these future fiber technicians will learn the challenges of the area they will serve before they hit the field, creating a smooth transition from classroom to field. The involvement of ISPs is crucial when shaping the next generation of fiber broadband technicians and they can offer more in-depth insight from their years of deployment experience.

“We are excited to partner with the FBA and Sno-Isle TECH to bring fiber optic training and education to the Pacific Northwest,” stated George Henny, Co-CEO of Whidbey Telecom, a fiber broadband service provider based on Whidbey Island, Washington. “At Whidbey Telecom, we are focused on the future of our connected community, and this education path is a great opportunity for our company to give back and for all of us to grow forward.”

“We are thrilled to partner with FBA to bring another element of electronics engineering technology to life for our students,” said Wes Allen, Sno-Isle Director. “Learning these crucial skills to have a successful career as a qualified fiber technician will set them on the pathway to family-wage careers, with many of them being able to serve their own communities by ensuring residents can connect to remote work, telehealth, education, and entertainment opportunities.”

Sno-Isle TECH will launch the OpTIC Path program on May 28, 2024, at its kick-off celebration. Those invited to the celebration include workforce development leaders at FBA, directors and staff at Whidbey Telecom, and Washington state elected officials: Senator Maria Cantwell, Governor Jay Inslee, U.S. Representative Rick Larsen (WA-02), and U.S. Representative Suzan DelBene (WA-01).

FBA is currently engaged with 40 of its targeted 56 states and territories to roll out the OpTIC Path program, with 44 service providers and 70 community colleges and training institutions. 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, visit


About the Fiber Broadband Association
The Fiber Broadband Association is the largest and only trade association that represents the complete fiber ecosystem of service providers, manufacturers, industry experts, and deployment specialists dedicated to the advancement of fiber broadband deployment and the pursuit of a world where communications are limitless, advancing quality of life and digital equity anywhere and everywhere. The Fiber Broadband Association helps providers, communities, and policymakers make informed decisions about how, where, and why to build better fiber broadband networks. Since 2001, these companies, organizations, and members have worked with communities and consumers in mind to build the critical infrastructure that provides the economic and societal benefits that only fiber can deliver. The Fiber Broadband Association is part of the Fibre Council Global Alliance, which is a platform of six global FTTH Councils in North America, LATAM, Europe, MEA, APAC, and South Africa. Learn more at

About Sno-Isle TECH
Sno-Isle TECH Skills Center is a public school in Everett, Washington, offering technical training for high school students within Snohomish and Island Counties. Sno-Isle TECH Skills Center, located near Paine Field in Everett, is a cooperative effort of 15 local school districts. The purpose of skills centers like Sno-Isle Tech is to provide preparatory training, certification, and post-secondary credit to students, who can then choose to continue their education, go straight to work, or both. Occupations are organized into broad clusters or “pathways” based on the characteristics of the job. The programs offered at Sno-Isle TECH represent these five pathways: Business Marketing & Management, Human Services, Information Technology, Science & Health, and Trade & Industry.

About Whidbey Telecom
Whidbey Telecom (legally Whidbey Telephone Company and often called Whidbey Tel) is a private, independent telecommunications company operating on the South End of Whidbey Island in Washington State, the community of Point Roberts, Washington, and its affiliate Hat Island Telephone Company on Hat (Gedney) Island. Whidbey Telecom has been locally owned and operated since it started business in 1908.

Press Contacts:
Autumn Minnich
Connect2 Communications for the Fiber Broadband Association

Kayla Miller
Sno-Isle TECH

Martha Ford
Whidbey Telecom