Matsui, Guthrie Send DOL Letter Promoting 5G Workforce

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Washington, D.C., June 11, 2019 | Kyle Morse (202-557-4880) | comments

View the letter here

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Energy & Commerce Communications and Technology Subcommittee Vice Chair Doris Matsui (CA-06) and Congressman Brett Guthrie (KY-02), Co-Chairs of the Congressional Spectrum Caucus, sent a letter to the Department of Labor (DoL) urging Secretary Alexander Acosta to take the necessary steps to support a workforce capable of deploying next generation broadband networks, such as 5G.

Matsui and Guthrie have led various efforts to deliver additional spectrum to the commercial marketplace that can support 5G services. As DoL seeks to expand and support apprenticeship opportunities that promote American leadership, Matsui and Guthrie are calling on the Secretary to specifically outline what steps are being taken to ensure that American workers are fully trained and ready to deploy the next generation of wireless broadband networks. 

The full text of the letter is here and below:

June 11, 2019

The Honorable Alexander Acosta
U.S. Department of Labor
200 Constitution Avenue, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20210

Dear Secretary Acosta:

As the Co-chairs of the Congressional Spectrum Caucus, we are committed to ensuring that the U.S. remains the global leader in wireless technology as the world transitions to next generation broadband networks, such as 5G. We firmly believe that additional licensed and unlicensed spectrum allocations, especially in key mid-range frequencies, will be necessary to achieve that goal. We also believe that it is critical to have an adequate workforce to deploy and upgrade the associated infrastructure of next generation networks.

American companies set the pace for global innovation with the deployment of our current generation of wireless services. In turn, this led to an increase in job growth not only in the wireless industry but nearly every sector of the economy across the country. That is why we have remained focused on ensuring that our radio spectrum resources are efficiently and effectively used, that we allocate additional spectrum for commercial use, and that our infrastructure policies enable our continued leadership in the deployment of wireless services. 

As we transition to 5G, it is critical that we ensure a highly-skilled workforce with the training necessary to efficiently deploy 5G services and infrastructure. To that end, we believe the Department of Labor (DoL) has an important role to play in promoting continued U.S. leadership by supporting the development of a qualified workforce ready to assist in the deployment of next generation broadband networks. In turn, this will produce more competitive workers and ensure new and emerging wireless technologies reach Americans across the country more quickly. 

Specifically, we would like to understand what steps DoL is taking to ensure the development of this workforce. Please detail for us any steps DoL is taking to support and advance specific training or apprenticeship programs that will promote U.S. efforts to win the race to 5G. As you continue to seek workforce expansion and development opportunities, the deployment of wireless technologies offers the opportunity to invest in training that will both help expand broadband access across the country and promote American leadership.

We look forward to your response and to working together on this critical issue. 

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