By Greg Wolfe, Ditch Witch Director of Training
As the pace of installing fiber optic cable connections to more homes and businesses continues to accelerate, it has become clear that there is a shortage of experienced labor to construct expanding fiber networks.
It also is clear that steps must be taken now to ensure there is an adequate supply of qualified workers to serve the present and future demands of a market that is projected to continue to grow for the next several years.
At Ditch Witch, we’ve taken the initiative to increase the training offered to the labor force to get crews ready to deploy fiber with the introduction of Ditch Witch Certified Training that includes several elements:
- An industry-first online HDD (horizontal directional drilling) training program for personnel at any level of HDD experience covers the basics of making directional drilling installations.
- Classroom, instructor-led operator training is available through our more than 170 Ditch Witch dealership locations worldwide.
- The new Ditch Witch HDD simulator training provides an opportunity for new operators to gain familiarization and understanding of machine controls to learn proper operating procedures.
- When crews are ready for exposure to real-world project conditions, Ditch Witch dealers provide field training, working with crews on the actual job site to analyze and recommend site-specific solutions aimed at improving production, lowering cost and enhancing safety.
Response to our training programs has been tremendous and confirms we are on the right track of addressing the shortage of qualified workers. Each month, we continue to see an increase in the total number of individuals utilizing the online courses, and a growing number of HDD crews are contacting our dealerships for field training. We are very pleased with the overall response to these essential programs.
Many of our large customers are sending personnel to our field training programs, but we want all customers to know that our training is available to anyone, individually or in groups.
As the Ditch Witch Certified Training program expands and more people complete HDD training, the market will benefit from an expanding labor force.