BOB: In 2010 Boeing and companies in the aerospace supply chain began work with the Washington State Community College system to align curriculum more closely with industry needs. The first step was to examine aerospace and manufacturing curriculum already in place around the state and then make recommendations. After an exhaustive tour, the consensus was that two-year degrees – while highly encouraged along with four-year and graduate education – actually train well beyond what entry level candidates need to know. From that came the recommendation for short-term education and training programs, perhaps in the form of stackable certificates. Next, the governor’s office acknowledged this vital piece of the workforce training continuum and provided grant funds dedicated to the development of short-term aerospace training programs. Green River Community College proposed a plan to deliver three brand new certificate programs and in early 2012 the college went from concept to classroom in 100 days with the help of several industry partners and highly committed faculty.
BOB: A good way to determine the best pathway is to match your interests and background with the program. If you have strong interest you’ll stay motivated, and if your background aligns in the least bit you’ll come across that much better on a resume’. Getting a job involves three keys: 1) knowledge and skills, 2) personality, and 3) experience. The college provides the knowledge and skill training and the individual brings the other 2/3 of the equation, so matching your interests and background with a particular program is significant to success. Prospective students can learn more about the typical work in each of these programs by visiting greenriver.edu/aerospace and checking the News and Resources page. In addition, here are some videos here and here that might help in the decision process.
BOB: Background and experience play a large role in job positioning. Here are some typical jobs for which these programs help prepare:
- Principles of Precision Machining will prepare students for entry level positions as Assemblers and Fabricators, Machinist’s Assistants, Metal Workers, Machine Operators, and more.
- Machine Maintenance will prepare students for entry level positions as Industrial Machinery Mechanics, Facilities/Machinery Maintenance workers, General Maintenance and Repair Workers, Maintenance Technicians, Building Maintenance Technician, Industrial Maintenance Technician, and more.
- Quality Assurance will prepare students for entry level positions as Quality Inspectors, Testers, Samplers, Quality Assurance Technicians, Quality Systems Assistants, Quality Managers, Quality Specialist, Quality Analyst, and more.
$$$ The following Workforce Education funding programs support Aerospace pathways at Green River: BFET, Worker Retraining, and WorkFirst.