Aerospace Funding Coming to Community Colleges in Washington

Updated  November 28, 2017 |
Aerospace Funding Coming to Community Colleges in Washington
Learn about a Governor’s Investment in Aerospace grant that will help 13 Washington community colleges develop training programs for the aerospace industry.
Aerospace is big business in the state of Washington, with more than 600 aerospace-related businesses currently residing there. To ensure a sufficient influx of quality, trained workers, new grants are coming to community and technical colleges in order to provide necessary training as quickly as possible. Funding will come from both state and federal sources, with millions of dollars coming to colleges across the state. The additional money will be a boon to the aerospace industry in Washington, as well as institutes of higher education supplying the training.
 

Federal Funding Distributed to Washington Technical College

The Obama Administration offers the first grant for aerospace training to Renton Technical College in Renton, Washington. According to a report in the Renton Reporter, the $2.1 million grant was a portion of the funds awarded to the Spokane Community College system through the Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College and Career Training grants program, or TAACCCT grants. These grants are part of the workforce development plan created by the White House to help displaced workers get the training they need to find new lines of work. Community Colleges of Spokane was given $20 million for this purpose, according to the U.S. Department of Education website.

The Air Washington Consortium
 
The portion of the Spokane funds were given to Renton as a part of the Air Washington consortium that includes 12 community and technical colleges and focuses on training for aerospace jobs in the state based on current and verified local industry needs. Renton Technical College was chosen for this grant funding by the consortium because the school offers training in precision machining and aircraft assembly. Other schools included in the consortium are:
Many of the schools listed in this consortium have also been recent recipients of state funding offered by the Government Investment in Aerospace program. With additional funding coming in from both state and federal sources, these schools are in a prime position to beef up their aerospace training and feed a hungry local industry.
 
“The Department of Labor grant provides a tremendous boost to the expansion of aerospace training at Renton Technical College,” Steve Hanson, president of RTC, told the Reporter. “As a result of this funding, RTC is now positioned to meet the rapidly growing need for skilled workers in the aerospace industry.”
 
The primary areas of focus for the federal grant, at Renton and other schools across the state, will include the following critical areas, according to a press release at Avionics Intelligence:
  • Avionics/Electronics
  • Aircraft Maintenance
  • Aircraft Assembly
  • Composites
  • Advanced Manufacturing
  • AS9100 Training
“To continue to lead the world in aviation, Washingtonians need the most up to date knowledge and training,” Representative Jay Inslee (WA-01) stated in the press release. “Our economic future is reliant on having the skilled workforce that will continue to provide the world with the best planes at the best price. This grant is just one investment in that economic future.”
 
State Funding Offered to 13 Washington Schools
 
Renton Technical College is not the only school benefiting from additional funding for their aerospace program. On a state level, $1.58 million will be awarded to 13 more Washington community colleges as part of the Governor’s Investment in Aerospace (GIA). These grants were also designed to assist community and technical colleges across Washington provide much needed training in the aerospace industry, according to a report at the Auburn Reporter. The funding will come from a combination of Workforce Investment Act funds and state aerospace training funds.
 
Workforce Investment Act (WIA) funds are distributed at the discretion of Governor Chris Gregoire for the state of Washington. In response to the availability of these funds, community and technical colleges across the state came together in a collaboration known as the Aerospace Consortium for Employment, or ACE. The primary mission of the collaboration is to provide urgent workforce training for the aerospace industry with short-term training in a wide range of related jobs, including:
  • Precision machining
  • Machine maintenance
  • Fiber optics
  • Quality assurance and inspection
With these positions covered through community college training programs, the aerospace industry will be able to grow throughout the state of Washington unhindered. This is especially important with a recent announcement from Boeing about their recent winning bid to build the next generation air refueling tanker for the United States Air Force. 
 
GIA Grant Recipients
 
According to the Tacoma Daily Index, schools slated to receive state funding from the GIA grant include:
Fund distribution varied among the schools, based on need and ability to provide training. Most of the funding is expected to go to equipment purchases, additional faculty and development of new aerospace training programs.
 
Community colleges have historically served the purpose of providing training for local industries. These additional monies for aerospace training prove that community and technical colleges continue to fulfill their primary responsibility in supporting local industries and economies.

Additional Resources [+]
comments powered by Disqus
Get Your Feet Wet with a WaterBotics Camp at Your Local Community College
Get Your Feet Wet with a WaterBotics Camp at Your Local Community College
Community College Students Headed to NASA
Community College Students Headed to NASA
Recent Articles
December 01, 2017
Learn about trending community college topics this week such as San Francisco's move toward free tuition at community colleges and the rise in hunger and homelessness among community college students across the country.
December 01, 2017
This summer will be wrapping up before we know of it, and your first semester at community college is rapidly approaching. Are you ready for it?
December 01, 2017
To encourage students to pursue higher education, some states are considering plans to offer zero-tuition programs at public community colleges. These programs could make college a reality for many young people, however, critics argue such programs would cost taxpayers a significant amount of money.

Get Your Degree!

Find schools and get information on the program that’s right for you.

Powered by Campus Explorer

Career Training

Science & Technology Careers

Indeed, science and technology careers, ranging from cyber-security to nano-technology, can all start from community college training. Get your feet wet with waterbotics, crack into cyber-security or dive into marine biology at your local community college.