Utah high school students will soon be able to graduate with a certificate in aerospace manufacturing thanks to a new program called the Utah Aerospace Pathways Program.
The pilot program is a partnership between the Granite and Davis school districts, the Davis Applied Technology College and Salt Lake Community College, and several aerospace industry partners. The program will begin during students’ junior year and by graduation will give them the training required to fill much-needed jobs in the aerospace industry. Steve Earl is the vice-president of Orbital ATK’s aerospace structures division.
“We’re going to add between three and five hundred jobs over the next three years and we need more qualified applicants and we need more of them,” he says.
Sandi Hammert is the Career and Technology Education coordinator at Granite School District. She says putting programs like this one in high schools is becoming more important as technology advances.
“CTE programs, in my mind, are the place that kids make sense of everything else," she says. "So I think we need to grow them to be where the world is today and where it’s going to be tomorrow.”
Students in the program will also be given the opportunity to participate in paid internships with a local aerospace company.