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TSTC offers first continuing education course in high-demand field

(ROSENBERG, Texas) - Texas State Technical College and the National Communications Training Center (NCTC) in Houston have partnered to provide a certified fiber optic technician training, the college’s first continuing education course to serve the area.

NCTC was formerly based in San Diego, California and operated for nearly two decades, training thousands from all over the world, from as far as Egypt.

The program is committed to training qualified technicians to meet the needs of a fast-growing, highly technical fiber optic field using a hands-on approach to support student success.

“There is a huge demand for fiber optics technicians and the numbers continues to increase,” said Kent Street, NCTC owner and school administrator. “And this industry isn’t going away any time soon.”

Street, came to Houston, after retiring in California, but when he realized the number of fiber optic cabling companies and the growth in the area, he approached TSTC with the idea of a partnership.

“There are hundreds, if not thousands, of cabling companies in the area,” said Street. “And after taking a look at TSTC and their hands-on teaching approach and job-placement focus I knew we would be great partners.”

TSTC Executive Director Workforce Training and Continuing Education Victor Blalack said after meeting with Street, speaking to him about his mission and the training he provides, he knew it would make a great addition to the technical college.

“We are similar in many ways. From our teaching approach to our focus on job placement, this was a perfect fit. A great addition to our technical college,” said Blalack. “We’ve developed a great relationship and we are excited to see it grow.”

TSTC and NCTC offer a three-week course designed to give students an intensive hands-on fiber optics training in installation and cabling to prepare them for certification and a fast-paced career in the industry.

Upon completing the program, graduates will receive a certification from the Fiber Optics Training Association and from Draka, the second largest fiber optic cable manufacturer in the world.

Graduates are also assisted with resume building and job placement and are provided a complete fiber optic and copper technician tool kit.

The first class began July 8 and the program as already seen a 100 percent job placement.

“This is a great start to the program,” said Blalack. “This means that every learning objective is being met and the program is working for our students and the community.”

Street said this course is open to anyone looking to improve a skill set or for a new career.

“In the last 20 years I have seen people from all walks of life come through our program and find success, and I know it won’t be any different in the Houston area,” said Street. “This is a very well-paying, rewarding career and it’s the need and use of faster internet speeds that are driving its progression.

The average starting salary for a certified fiber optics technician can range anywhere between $45,000 a year, and with experience can go up to $70,000 a year.

“The payoff for only three-weeks of intensive training is big. It’s a great-paying career,” said Blalack. “And we work diligently to bring continuing education programs that are tailored to the area so that they benefit our community, region and the state.”

The next certified fiber optic training course begins September 3. For more information, visit tstc.edu/workforce/ce. 

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Thursday, August 22, 2019