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Case Study: Charter’s Broadband Field Technician Apprenticeship Program

Technician wearing a work helmet holding a container labeled Spectrum. As the Internet continues to become more relevant and essential to our daily lives, it’s increasingly critical to ensure that telecommunications infrastructure is reliable, secure, and capable of meeting the demand. Paired with the rapid pace of technological advancement and the digital transformation of more and more industries and sectors, the world is facing a pressing need for a skilled workforce who can meet the demands of the 21st century economy.

That’s where workforce development comes in.

NTIA has created the Telecommunications Training and Workforce Development Best Practice Checklist to help support Eligible Entities as they’re developing their BEAD workforce plans. The checklist is designed to help select programs, partnerships, and activities for their plans that will collectively help them address the workforce requirements and guidance in the BEAD Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) and ensure that there is a skilled workforce prepared to connect the unserved and underserved.

This blog series highlights a showcase of case studies that demonstrate use of the checklist across a range of programs offered by industry, higher education, and state partners. The series will highlight examples reflective of the diverse range of training programs currently in operation, including those run by nonprofit organizations, workforce intermediaries, private sector employers, labor unions, community and technical college systems, and industry associations, to name a few.

High-Speed Internet Application:

  Focused on fulfilling a need required for high-speed Internet deployment


Program Design:

☐  Industry-led sectoral partnership including labor

  Employer-led curriculum development

  Earn and learn model


  Stackable, industry-recognized credentials

  Local hire

  Recruit from underserved communities

☐  Wrap-around services

  Measure and evaluate outcomes


Employer Partners:

  Have workforce needs

  Engaged in program design and make hiring commitments

  Recruit from underserved communities

  Local hire

  Skills-based assessment of applicants

  Provide living wages and benefits


Charter Communications is a leading connectivity company and cable operator providing broadband, voice, video, and mobile services under the brand name Spectrum to more than 32 million customers across 41 states.

To meet their business objectives of providing superior products with great customer service, Charter obtained a certification for its Broadband Field Technician Apprenticeship Program from the Department of Labor (DOL). Upon receiving certification from the DOL, Charter was able to expand their training program from an initial five states to all 41 states where it provides service.

Program Overview

Charter’s Broadband Field Technician Apprenticeship Program was developed to attract, train, and retain a highly skilled, diverse, and locally based workforce in areas where our network is already built. Training is focused on customer service, safety, and skills required to perform installations and service calls. The Broadband Field Technician Apprenticeship Program is a self-progression program, which allows employees to make decisions about their chosen careers and gain in-depth knowledge about their jobs and industries.

Individuals can participate in this program at no cost to them and a college degree is not required. In addition to a starting wage of at least $20 per hour, Charter employees receive comprehensive health benefits – and for 10 consecutive years, the company has absorbed the full annual cost increase of medical, dental, and vision coverage. Charter offers employees a market-leading retirement plan with a 401(k) Plan that matches employee contributions dollar for dollar. Charter employees also enjoy deep discounts on Spectrum Mobile plans and free or discounted Spectrum products, including TV and Internet. In addition, employees can continue their education with tuition reimbursement of up to $10,000 each year. Veterans who are eligible can also receive GI Bill benefits during the program, while simultaneously earning paychecks from Charter. This allows for a smooth transition into civilian life. Upon completion of this three-year program, graduates receive an industry-recognized broadband field technician certification from the USDOL.

To recruit veterans into the program, Charter has established partnerships with more than 20 military bases as well as with organizations that focus on helping members of the military community transition to the civilian job market, like Hiring our Heroes, the U.S. Department of Defense Military Spouse Employment Partnership, Student Veterans of America, and the Centurion Military Alliance. Across the company, Charter is enhancing diversity and inclusion practices. Currently, 50 percent of Charter employees identify as a person of color and nearly ten percent have a military affiliation.

Download the Workforce Planning Guide

The Workforce Planning Guide supports Eligible Entities developing submissions to Internet for All programs. It supports the development of workforces for grant implementation as well as designing workforce plans and standards for subgrantees.