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First-ever State of Ohio Fiber Broadband Awareness Week


Media Contacts: Lori Trent, PAST Foundation -

March 7, 2023

First-ever State of Ohio Fiber Broadband Awareness Week Highlights Opportunities in the Fiber Broadband Industry, Offers Free AWS Fiber Optic Fusion Splicing Certificate Courses

Free tech skills training courses aims to help Ohioans meet the increased workforce demands to build the State’s broadband infrastructure

COLUMBUS, Ohio – The Governor’s Office of Workforce Transformation, Tolles Career & Technical Center, The PAST Foundation, and Team Fishel, in collaboration with Amazon Web Services and Sumitomo Electric Lightwave joined forces to host the first-ever State of Ohio Fiber Broadband Awareness Week. The week, which took place from February 27 through March 3, included 2 free AWS Fiber Optic Fusion Splicing Certificate Courses that granted participants a fiber optic fusion splicing certificate and networking opportunities. Activities also included an Introductory Fiber Broadband Workshop for high school students. More than 70 individuals took part in the week’s activities designed to bring awareness of high demand jobs in the broadband industry and offer access to free technical skills training.

“In Ohio, we’re making significant investments in broadband and 5G to ensure all Ohioans have access to high-speed internet and the ability to participate in the modern economy,” said Ohio Lt. Governor Jon Husted. “Building these broadband and 5G networks will create tens of thousands of jobs over the next decade, and it is our goal to ensure we have the skilled, technical workforce to make this happen. This event was a great opportunity for Ohioans to learn about the many careers available in this field, network with industry leaders and access trainings.”

Fiber optic installation and repair is a vital and sought-after skill in a world more reliant on the constant and powerful flow of data. Fiber optic cables are the backbone of the modern world, carrying internet, TV, and telephone data, which makes repairing and testing them specialized work. Identifying this need to train workers for today and the future, and as part of Amazon’s commitment to train 29 million people for free on cloud computing and technical skills by 2025, AWS and Sumitomo Electric Lightwave are working together to host Fusion Splicing Certificate Courses across the country.

“AWS has long believed in the power of skills training and its positive, long-term impact on our employees, customers, partners, and communities,” said Roger Wehner, Director of Economic Development for AWS. “Through the AWS Fusion Splicing course, we’re thrilled to help open new opportunities and career pathways for participants. Technicians skilled in installing and repairing fiber optics will be prepared to perform the critical jobs building the infrastructure needed to wire the country for the digital world.

The two Fusion Splicing Certificate Courses also prioritized creating a link between participants and potential job opportunities. Graduates not only finished the course with the skills needed to immediately begin deploying and repairing fiber optic networks, they also participated in a networking event with national and local employers, which included Team Fishel, a Columbus based provider of utility engineering, construction and network installation services.

“Team Fishel is honored to support Fiber Broadband Awareness Week as we’re committed to helping build a skilled and prepared workforce, capable of creating and sustaining the next-generation fiber optic infrastructures.,” said Craig Mathes, VP of Human Resources and Safety. “The courses and sessions offered throughout this week introduced its participants to the possibilities of a strong career in a constantly evolving technology through state-of-the-art training.”

Ohio Lt. Governor Jon Husted attended the kick-off course at the Tolles Career & Technical Center and presented a proclamation to AWS and Team Fishel, recognizing their efforts in expanding access to free Fiber Optic Fusion Splicing Certificate courses. A second course took place at The Past Foundation to close the week. In addition to the Fusion Splicing Certificate Courses, students from local central Ohio high schools were invited to attend and gain a high-level overview of the Fiber and Fusion Splicing industries. the Fiber and Fusion Splicing Introductory Workshop, also hosted at The Past Foundation, was open to anyone in grades 10-12 with an interest in learning more about fusion splicing, fiber optics and cabling.

“We are extremely excited to team with AWS to offer this incredible opportunity for students,” said Dr. Annalies Corbin, President & CEO of PAST. “This type of offering aligns with much of the work that PAST does to provide relevant, transdisciplinary, problem- and work-based learning experiences for students helping them explore industry-enhanced career pathways that prepare them for success after high school.”

To learn more about Ohio’s efforts to build broadband, visit BroadbandOhio. To learn more about the AWS Fusion Splicing program, visit AWS Fusion Splicing Certificate website.

About The Governor’s Office of Workforce Transformation

The Governor’s Office of Workforce Transformation, led by Lt. Governor Jon Husted, focuses on creating opportunities for Ohioans to continuously upskill and reskill to meet the needs of the modern economy through programs like TechCred, Industry Sector Partnerships, and more.

About Team Fishel Since 1936, Team Fishel has proudly served the telecommunications, electric power, low-voltage technology, and natural gas industries. With offices in 12 states and 2,900+ highly skilled Teammates, Team Fishel works closely every day with Customers throughout the United States. Team Fishel is the Best Choice for Utility Engineering, Construction, Installation, and Maintenance.

About Tolles Career & Technical Center Established in 1974, Tolles is a career and technical school providing a launchpad for both high school students and adult learners. Located south of Plain City, Ohio, Tolles serves: Dublin, Fairbanks, Jonathan Alder, Hilliard, London, Madison-Plains, and Jefferson Local school districts. By combining bankable skills with rigorous academics Tolles continues to post uplifting results for students and the community as a whole.

About The PAST Foundation PAST, a non-profit organization, is a leader in designing innovative educational opportunities across the nation and around the world, bringing problem-based learning to educators and experiential programs to students. During PAST’s 22 years, we have impacted hundreds of thousands of students and educators while engaging hundreds of businesses and industry leaders. Building a community of learners that helps students prepare to solve the world’s problems is our core mission. PAST was recognized by the U.S. Department of Education for its Excellence in Innovation in the STEM 2026 vision report, being the only Ohio educational entity included in this publication. In 2021, PAST’s Innovation Lab was featured in Forbes Magazine as a promising example to “Re-imagine High School” and also recognized by the White House Summit on High School Design in 2015. Connect with us at


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