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Central Maine Community College Chooses Fiber Broadband Association’s OpTIC Path™ to Overcome Fiber Broadband Workforce Shortage

Central Maine Community College Chooses Fiber Broadband Association’s OpTIC Path™ to Overcome Fiber Broadband Workforce Shortage

Fiber optic technician training program will help Maine communities connect to high-performance broadband services

WASHINGTON, D.C.—(June 27, 2024)—The Fiber Broadband Association (FBA) today announced that FBA’s Optical Telecom Installer Certification (OpTIC Path™) program is now available for Maine residents through Central Maine Community College (CMCC). The course will train the skilled fiber technicians needed to expand local networks and connect Maine communities to high-performance fiber broadband services. The OpTIC Path program also delivers important opportunities to graduates, enabling them to enter a professional industry with long-term value.

Like many states, Maine is gaining layers of federal and private funding to build or improve broadband infrastructure and close the digital divide. This includes $128 million from the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) – Capital Projects Fund, $260.7 million from the ARPA Fiscal Recovery Funds, $42.45 billion from the Broadband Equity Access and Deployment (BEAD) program, and an additional $30 million grant from the Broadband Infrastructure Program. However, the existing broadband technician workforce shortage has to be addressed in order to leverage any funding appropriately and build networks within deadlines.

CMCC will offer the OpTIC Path program in partnership with the Harold Alfond Center for the Advancement of Maine’s Workforce, which offers short-term training through Maine’s community colleges to upskill and strengthen Maine’s workforce. The fiber optic training course is three weeks long, and upon completing the 120-hour course, graduates will be certified fiber optic technicians ready to start work.

“The Fiber Broadband Association’s OpTIC Path program is an exciting addition to our course offerings,” said Dwayne Conway, Dean of Workforce and Professional Development, Central Maine Community College. “This program will ensure that graduates are prepared to enter the field ready to work. That will put graduates at the top of candidate lists and save potential employers training time and cost. As a result, our state’s fiber broadband networks can be built more efficiently.”

“FBA’s OpTIC Path program will be crucial to help us combat the local broadband workforce shortage,” said Dan Belyea, Chief Workforce Development Officer at The Harold Alfond Center. “Our goal is to speed the delivery of critical training, implement short-term workforce training programs for Maine’s community colleges, and work closely with business leaders and workforce stakeholders throughout the state. FBA’s program is an exciting addition to our training options, bringing new opportunities to advance connectivity in our state.”

“Maine will utilize the $272 million in federal funding from the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) Broadband Equity Access and Deployment (BEAD) program to expand broadband. The first step in this process is to ensure that they have qualified fiber technicians to start these builds,” said Todd Jackson, Director of Workforce Development at the Fiber Broadband Association. “The OpTIC Path program provides the tools needed for any school, college, or another training facility to effectively prepare skilled fiber technicians to safely build high-performance broadband networks.”

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 policy makers 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 the Harold Alfond Center for the Advancement of Maine’s Workforce
The Harold Alfond Center for the Advancement of Maine’s Workforce manages short-term workforce training programs for Maine’s community colleges.  Launched in 2021, the Center aims to train 24,000 Mainers, enhancing their employment prospects and contributing to the state’s economic growth.  Training encompasses pre-hire training for underemployed individuals, professional development for current workers, and scholarships for ongoing education in certificate and degree pursuits.  These initiatives are made possible by the generous support of Maine Quality Centers, the Maine Jobs and Recovery Plan, and the foundational backing of the Harold Alfond Foundation.

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

Heather Douglass