Penn State Certificate Leads Displaced Worker to Success
DuBois – At 44, Mike Davies has rebounded from a layoff and started fresh in a new career as a Customer Testing and Installation Technician with Level 3 Communications in Coudersport, PA. He earned his Telecommunications Technologies Certification at Penn State DuBois in September, and immediately went to work as a contractor for Level 3, and was soon offered a full time position with the company.
"My schooling really helped me get in the door," Davies said. "It gave me all the stepping stones that I've been able to carry through both jobs, and gave me an understanding of the layouts I'm working with now."
Each day Davies is responsible for testing layouts of fiber optic lines that support communication networks throughout the United States. His work makes the transmission of information by phone, internet, and television all possible.
"I'm taking a design and making sure it's tested," Davies said, explaining his role in the functions of fiber optic networks, and making sure that they make every connection they're expected to make. He uses computer models to monitor the courses that the communication lines take. "I may have one that goes from New York City to Florida, and I have to make sure it hits everywhere it needs to along the way."
Davies said most people may not think about how they get their information these days, but everyone uses the fiber optic networks his company builds, whether they know it or not. "You watch the Super Bowl on Level 3," he said.
Even to Davies, it's hard to believe that just a year ago, in July 2009, he was laid off from his position as a press operator with Case Cutlery in Bradford, PA. He said he commends Case for delaying the layoffs as long as possible, and mentioned that they have since called laid off employees back to work. Davies, however, has already taken another path.
"I decided to keep perusing the job I went to school for. It's already a rewarding career, and it's been a crazy, fun ride," he said.
The Telecommunication Technologies Certification Program is for people interested in obtaining certification in one of the fastest-growing, high-demand occupations in the country. This fiber optic cabling is being used across Pennsylvania and the United States in various capacities. Students earn an industry-recognized certificate upon completion of all three courses, learn the basics of network cabling in both copper-based systems and fiber optic based systems, receive hands-on training, and upon completion, receive a field tool kit.
Courses will be offered again in St. Marys beginning September 13. For more information, contact Jeannine Hanes, continuing education representative at 814-375-4836.