Fiber optic opportunities come to Tennessee College of Applied Technology

Certifications can open doors for tech jobs in demand.
Published: Oct. 1, 2021 at 4:39 PM EDT|Updated: Oct. 1, 2021 at 5:58 PM EDT
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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) - Few people are taking advantage of a a big opportunity to gain technology skills and certification in the growing fiber optic field in Knoxville. The Tennessee College of Applied Technology is offering quarterly classes in fiber optics, with so far only about ten people completing the week of classes that can boost or begin a career.

The most recent set of students receiving certifications included those receiving scholarships. Students also include industry-paid personnel sent from in or out of state to gain skills needed in their current job.

President Kelli Chaney of TCAT Knoxville said the demand is growing for skilled technicians who know how to work the fiber, because it is central to modern communications systems. “Broadband is the future of business,” said Chaney. “And we have to be ready to be those cablers and splicers and maintenance technicians.”

Master instructor Tom Rausch visited Knoxville for the most recent round of classes, explaining that the ability to work with fiber creates the skills that communications companies need. “There’s a lot of work in the fiber optic industry all around the country, really all around the world.”

The next scheduled classes on fiber optics will be in March of 2022. However, Chaney said if industries need customized training and even training brought to their job sites, TCAT can coordinate to offer that. “We could absolutely take more students!” said Chaney.

“This is a very good certification to put on your resume,” said Elijah Lambert, who is hoping to add this skill into his current construction skills.

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