Building Out Broadband to Attract Workers Will Require…More Workers
Historic federal investments in broadband infrastructure will jumpstart broadband buildout, connecting more households, businesses, and community anchor institutions to bring the economy into the 21st century. Due to the matching requirements for most of these programs, the Legislature must determine whether State funds appropriated for broadband buildout will be sufficient to cover Vermont’s share of the cost of these projects, and whether the State is on track to meet statutory goals of providing 100/100 Mbps service to all locations in Vermont by 2024. The Legislature must also address the problem of finding the workforce to carry out this project. Last year, the Legislature created a pilot program at Vermont Technical College to train fiber-optic technicians, pay them during classroom training and apprenticeship, and offer wraparound services such as childcare. The Vermont Chamber supports this program to create a stronger talent pool and will continue to advocate for relocation incentives to attract more workers to the state.