Wilson County - Homegrown Tools

Wilson County, NC


After building Greenlight, North Carolina’s first and only community-owned fiber network, Wilson County needed fiber technicians to install and maintain the network’s growing infrastructure. To meet this workforce need, Wilson County leveraged its unique assets in the tech industry to develop fiber optics training for anyone looking to develop skills in the industry. The fiber optics training program was such a success that in 2019 the County worked to expand the program and increase access to it. By leveraging its existing strengths in tech and creating workforce opportunities for residents, the County worked to expand tech opportunities across the region.

Median Household Income2019$42,850
Poverty Rate 201921.1%
Proximity to Urban Center 54 miles to Raleigh NC
Proximity to Interstate Highway 8 miles to I-795
Case Study Time Frame 2019-2022
Data Source: US Census, American Community Survey
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Lessons Learned from the Story
The value of hands-on training. Throughout both the 10-week course and the boot camp, instructors discovered that participants preferred hands on fiber optics engagement over classroom instruction.26 Not only did participants enjoy the hands-on training more, but it allowed for a better understanding of the intricate processes. Moving forward, hands on training could come to be a larger part of the course to increase interest and comprehension.

Interest in internet training programs. With a lack of strong broadband and poor internet access presenting itself as a pressing issue, the need for this technical training is as important as ever. Both the 10-week course and the boot camp were full of hardworking students who traveled across the state to access this opportunity. There is no shortage of individuals and groups who want to learn about how to increase internet accessibility for their communities. Many participants even expressed interest in further learning, demonstrating the need for even more technical and specialized coursework.