Monday, November 22, 2004

Local residents will be able to receive training in fiber optics and communications through a new partnership program announced today by Fairmont State Community & Technical College. FSC&TC President Blair Montgomery announced that Orbit Educational Group, Inc. and the college have formed a partnership to deliver the training.

"We're excited because this partnership brings a high-tech training program to the area, which will give people the opportunity to enter an expanding industry," said Dale Bradley, FSC&TC Assistant Provost for Workforce Development.

The program is designed to provide the student with necessary skills to begin a career in the telecommunications, fiber optic, voice date transmission, digital phone and voicemail integration and electronic security alarm industries.

"One appealing aspect of this largely hands-on program is that it only takes 24 weeks for completion," Bradley said.

The training includes instruction in the fundamentals of fiber optic cabling, including safety, installation, splicing, testing and troubleshooting, security alarm systems installation and troubleshooting, and digital phone installation, programming and troubleshooting. According to Bradley, those skills will be in even greater demand with the emphasis on homeland security.

Orbit Educational Group Inc. is a West Virginia Corporation with training sites at Wheeling and Mt. Gay in collaboration with West Virginia Northern CTC and Southern West Virginia CTC and specializes in providing training in fiber optics, telecommunications, voice/data transmission, video applications and electronic security alarm systems. In addition, the group has been licensed to administer international certifications in Fiber Optics Installer, Security Alarm Installer, Enhanced Data Cabling Installer and Telecommunications Technician.

"Communication is the backbone of the global economy and the need for qualified technicians is high," said Orbit spokesman Don Ritchey. "Also addressed by this training is the often overlooked need for trained Homeland Security Systems Installers."

Employment opportunities are available locally, regionally, nationally and internationally.

The program will be offered at FSC&TC's Center for Workforce Education at 320 Adams St., Suite G01, in Fairmont. Classes are beginning now and students will be accepted through the end of December. Interested individuals should call (304) 367-4920. The program is on the West Virginia state-approved list of programs which are eligible for workforce training funds.