Victoria College has entered into a partnership with BDI DataLynk, an internationally recognized fiber optics training firm based in Austin, to offer a new fiber optics course in Victoria.
The first of its kind in South Texas, the course is being offered in response to an emerging need identified by Victoria leaders.
“Over the last three years, broadband internet has become a major priority for the entire state of Texas and for much of the country,” said Darrek Ferrell, Assistant City Manager. “It is vital to the economic and developmental health of our community that our infrastructure keeps up with the demands of those who choose to live, work, and visit Victoria.”
During the pandemic, employees began working from home and students shifted to online instruction, but many households lacked access to fast, reliable internet connections. This led to Congress including legislation in the Bipartisan Infrastructure Deal of 2021 to ensure all Americans have access to reliable, high-speed internet through a $65 billion investment in broadband infrastructure deployment.
“During our efforts to recruit broadband providers to Victoria, we learned that there are not enough people trained to meet the rapidly increasing demand for infrastructure expansion,” explained Ferrell.
When Victoria leaders identified fiber installers and technicians as a high-demand occupation – not only for the Golden Crescent region, but across the state and nation – they looked to Victoria College to explore the possibility of offering training to meet the need.
“As a community college, it is our responsibility to meet the training needs of the region,” said Dr. Jennifer Kent, VC President. “Crews are currently being brought in from outside our region to install the fiber needed for telecommunications infrastructure expansion when we have the workforce right here at home. Partnering with BDI DataLynk will allow us to train our own for these good-paying jobs.”
Community leaders believe the new course will have a positive impact on the quality of life for Victoria residents.
“At the City of Victoria, our mission is enhancing livability, and our community partners at Victoria College have facilitated the development of a training program that will give many of our residents an opportunity to enhance their lives, careers, and futures,” said City Manager Jesús Garza.
The one-week fiber optics course is sanctioned by the Fiber-Optics Association (FOA) and recognized by the United States Department of Labor. Students who successfully complete the 40-hour course will earn three FOA certifications, which are included within the course hours and costs:
- Certified Fiber Optics Technician
- Certified Fiber Optics Specialist in Testing & Maintenance
- Certified Fiber Optics Specialist in Splicing
The fiber optics course will be offered from 8 a.m.-5 p.m. on July 24-28 and again on Sept.11-15 at VC’s Emerging Technology Complex.
The cost for the class is $3,100, and all equipment and supplies will be provided. Financial aid and scholarships are available and may cover the majority of tuition.
For more information, contact VC’s Workforce & Continuing Education Department at (361) 582-2528 or WCE@VictoriaCollege.edu.