Last week's launch of the Utah Aerospace Pathways program by Gov. Gary Herbert is an excellent example of how Utah leaders in government, industry and education are working together to address the state's workforce needs.
Development of the UAP program began in earnest last March, with the aerospace industry and education partners planning a pilot program for the 2015 school year. Now, a limited number of Utah high school students have the opportunity to graduate with certificates in aerospace manufacturing and a pathway to family-sustaining jobs.
The first semester of the pilot program is taking place within the Granite and Davis School Districts. The second semester will take place at the Davis Applied Technology College and Salt Lake Community College. The UAP program's launch was made possible through the support of the State Office of Education, Davis and Granite School Districts, Salt Lake Community College, the Davis Applied Technology College and the six aerospace partners: Boeing, Harris (formerly Exelis), Hexcel, Hill Air Force Base, Janicki and Orbital ATK. The industry partners also worked closely with the Utah Manufacturers Association to provide the paid internships during the certification process.
The UAP is a grant recipient of the Utah Cluster Acceleration Partnership (UCAP), which is a program that provides funding to public educational institutions to develop, implement or enhance educational programs that are responsive to regional and statewide industry needs.