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PANGAEA Scholarship Program and Application

Fiber Optic 1-2-3 Training

Mission:

E-Polk, Inc. dba PANGAEA Internet (“PANGAEA”) is a community led, nonprofit 501(C)(3) corporation. Our mission is to deliver affordable, reliable connectivity and services for our region that will enhance economic development, improve the quality of life, and create a broad platform of innovation enabling underserved areas. Since our founding by community leaders in 2003 we have built a 250 mile fiber optic network in Polk and Rutherford Counties in western North Carolina. PANGAEA currently provides high speed bandwidth and transport to 185 customers in our four target markets: 1) health care, 2) education, 3) government, and 4) commercial.

Situation:

There is a shortage of fiber optic splicing technicians to serve rural areas, like Polk and Rutherford Counties, NC. This shortage impacts the ability of PANGAEA and other internet service providers to install, maintain, and repair the fiber optic infrastructure required to bridge the digital divide and bring high speed internet to rural communities. This program will provide scholarships for The Light Brigade’s Fiber Optics 1-2-3 training course as well as fiber optic certification.

Scholarship:

PANGAEA will provide one $750 scholarship to attend the four day Fiber Optic 1-2-3 training course to be held on June 26-29, 2018 in Spartanburg, SC. The total cost of the program plus certification is $1,510. The scholarship award winner will be responsible for the remaining $760 of the total cost.

Training Program:

This four-day class has been developed with 16 hours of classroom and 16 hours of hands-on skills labs to provide practical understanding and skills required to properly design, install, and maintain fiber optic networks. Students will use the latest fiber optic technology and equipment to learn how to splice, connect, test, and troubleshoot optical fiber networks in order to increase efficiency, reliability and on-the-job safety as well as reduce cost and downtime. The funds will also be used to certify each student through the Electronics Technicians Association (ETA). ETA-certified technicians are professionally recognized as having the knowledge and skills to meet international de facto electronics industry standards.

Target Market:

PANGAEA will create the application, advertise the scholarships, and screen the applicants. The target will be students with high school or college education in a technical area or those with comparable technical job experience. The screening process will focus on candidates who have a strong technical background, demonstrate a desire to learn, demonstrate the motivation to succeed in a demanding but rewarding field, and have defined goals to use the learned skills to excel in the field of fiber optic technology. Scholarship recipients will be required to provide a written report within 12 months of completing the course describing how they have used the training to achieve their career goals.

Student Requirements:

  1. $760 for course fee (after scholarship)(nonrefundable)
  2. Reside or attend school in Polk or Rutherford County
  3. Must be at least a high school senior or above
  4. Must demonstrate achievement in education and/or work experience
  5. Must not be a director or employee of PANGAEA Internet
  6. Student transportation to attend training course
  7. Availability to attend each day of training
  8. Written impact report required one year after training completed

Key Dates:

May 9, 2018    Scholarship applications due (available online at www.pangaea.us)
May 14, 2018   Scholarships awarded
May 23, 2018  $760 nonrefundable prepayment due to PANGAEA from student
June 26, 2018 Training course begins
July 1, 2019     Student submits written personal impact report to PANGAEA

Questions: Carolyn Whitehead, PANGAEA Office Administrator, carolyn@e-polk.org


Scholarship Application

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