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CTC representatives visit the White House

Kristi Westbrock, CEO/general manager, and Jeremy Przybilla, member services technician from CTC, joined the Communications Workers of America talking about the broadband industry.

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Jeremy Przybilla, left, Consolidated Telephone Co. member services technician, Kristi Westbrock, CEO/general manager at CTC, and Shirley Bloomfield, CEO, at NTCA-The Rural Broadband Association wait by the demonstration table, set up by the Communication Workers of America.
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BRAINERD — Two staff members from Consolidated Telephone Company attended the Talent Pipeline Challenge Expo Wednesday, Nov. 2, at The White House in Washington, D.C.

Kristi Westbrock, CEO/general manager and Jeremy Przybilla, member services technician from CTC, joined the Communications Workers of America sharing information about jobs in the broadband industry and demonstrating how fiber strands are properly handled, spliced and tested.

The Talent Pipeline was introduced by the Biden-Harris Administration in mid-June and is a nationwide call to action for employers, education/training providers, and other entities to support workforce development in critical infrastructure sectors like broadband. The Expo highlighted the careers that will be impacted and created because of the federal government’s $65 billion investment in broadband via the Bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act signed into law in November 2021.

The funding will support the build-out of critical broadband infrastructure and offer programs to make internet access more affordable for families. These activities will also create thousands of new jobs in the broadband industry.

Jeremy Przybilla stands in a room at the White House with other people.
Jeremy Przybilla, center, member services technician with Consolidated Telephone Co., demonstrates how to properly handle, splice, and test fiber strands to attendees of the Talent Pipeline Challenge Expo that was hosted at the White House in Washington D.C. on Wednesday, Nov. 2, 2022.
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As part of this effort, NTCA–The Rural Broadband Association announced a new partnership with CWA, Northwood Technical College (based in northern Wisconsin), and the National Rural Education Association to create training, apprenticeship, and education opportunities for rural America’s broadband workforce and K-12 students.

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“We were honored to be a part of this amazing event,” said Westbrock. “This is a historic moment in time for our industry. The future looks very bright for our workforce. Now it’s time to find and train them.”

Westbrock is also a member of the Federal Communication Commission’s Telecommunications Interagency Working Group, a one-year committee that’s been charged with developing recommendations that address the workforce needs of the telecommunications industry.

President Joe Biden claps as a woman speaks at the podium before a group.
President Joe Biden prepares to address the crowd at the Talent Pipeline Challenge Expo, hosted at the White House in Washington D.C. on Wednesday, Nov. 2, 2022.
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CTC, a Brainerd-based technology adviser and full-service telecommunications company, was formed in 1952, and has grown into a complete communications provider offering telephone, high-speed internet, digital television, and IT services to businesses and individuals throughout central and northern Minnesota.

Our newsroom occasionally reports stories under a byline of "staff." Often, the "staff" byline is used when rewriting basic news briefs that originate from official sources, such as a city press release about a road closure, and which require little or no reporting. At times, this byline is used when a news story includes numerous authors or when the story is formed by aggregating previously reported news from various sources. If outside sources are used, it is noted within the story.

Hi, I'm the Brainerd Dispatch. I started working a few days before Christmas in 1881 and became a daily paper two years later. I've gone through a lot of changes over the years, but what has never changed is my commitment to community and to local journalism. I've got an entire team of dedicated people who work night and day to make sure I go out every morning, whether in print, as an e-edition, via an app or with additional information at www.brainerddispatch.com. News, weather, sports — videos, photos, podcasts and social media — all covering stories from central Minnesota about your neighbors, your lakes, your communities, your challenges and your opportunities. It's all part of the effort to keep people connected and informed. And we couldn't do it without support.
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