SCC Spearheading Statewide Aerospace Training Initiative

By:  Anusha Roy
Source: KXLY4

SPOKANE, Wash. -

With Boeing ramping up production on airliners over the next few years there's a new initiative to fill aerospace jobs in Washington, and Spokane Community College is working to train people to get their foot in the aerospace industry's door.

From machinists to avionics technicians, the aerospace industry is looking forward to growing in the coming years. It's anticipated, in the next decade there will be 21,000 new jobs in the aerospace industry in Washington Slone.

"This is an opportunity to re-skill and re-tool people who are unemployed," Senator Maria Cantwell said Friday.

Sen. Cantwell helped push for a $20 Million investment that puts Spokane Community College in a lead role to help fill these demands.

"It's probably the best news we have received in a number of years," Dave Cox, Dean of Instruction Technical Education with Spokane Community College said.

SCC is heading up Air Washington, an association of colleges and training organizations to help prepare more than 2,600 people for employment in the aerospace industry.

"It's awesome; so terribly exciting. It's a statewide initiative," Cox said.

The focus will be in five different departments, including aircraft assembly. There will also be veteran outreach, to connect them with aerospace jobs. Army veteran Brandon Wagner can testify that many times there are a lot of transferable skills.

"The communication field transfers over to the hydraulics field because they have the same circuitry in it," Wagner said.

There are a variety of reasons for the ramping up of the aerospace industry in Washington, with Boeing's production of the 787 Dreamliner, ramping up of 737 production and multiple military contracts as well. Now many are looking forward to a healthy aviation industry that can secure thousands of jobs across the state.