Erie County Community College (EC3) has partnered with VNet Fiber to offer a Fiber Optics Installer Training program this summer.  

The nine-week program is meant to provide those interested in learning about fiber optics with the opportunity to develop skills in broadband technology. Upon completion, students will be awarded an OpTIC Path(TM) Fiber Optic Technician certificate issued by the Fiber Broadband Association.   

“Our workforce development offerings are really beginning to blossom and being able to offer a program of this magnitude to the community is exciting,” says Rebecca Walker, Dean of Workforce Development. “We believe in providing opportunities to Erie County that are going to have immediate impact in an affordable way and this is a perfect example of what we’re trying to accomplish.”  

“As the region’s only locally owned and operated Internet Service Provider, VNET Fiber is excited to partner with EC3 to establish this program in the region,” stated Matt Wiertel, Director of Sales and Business Development for Velocity Network. “VNET Fiber’s ability to expand our 100% fiber optic network requires highly trained employees. This program will provide VNET Fiber with a pipeline of talent that will support our plans as we enter new neighborhoods throughout the region,” Wiertel continued. 

“The demand for trained fiber optic technicians is going to increase significantly toward the end of 2023 and that trend will continue for the foreseeable future.” said Deborah Kish, VP, Research and Workforce Development at Fiber Broadband Association “Therefore it is so important to start attracting new people and training now, before BEAD funds are dispersed.  You need to build a workforce before you can build a network and our industry is experiencing an aging workforce, so we really need to fill the pipeline.” 

The program begins Tuesday, July 18th and goes through Saturday, September 16th, 2023; Tuesdays & Thursdays, 4:30 – 7:30 PM and Saturdays 10 AM – 4 PM. Classes will be held at EC3’s West location, 2403 W. 8th Street, Erie. The cost of the program is $2,500, and the training is eligible for the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) funding. Those interested in more information to reach out to Doug Massey at or by calling 814.413.7037.