Talent Ready Utah, in partnership with Tooele County School District, Tooele Technical College, and the aerospace industry today announced the expansion of the Utah Aerospace Pathways (UAP) program in Tooele. The program has been in place since 2016, and this expansion is important for the aerospace industry in Utah, as 31 students are currently enrolled in the program this fall. 

“The Utah Aerospace Pathways program is a U.S. best practice initiative for workforce development,” said Val Hale, executive director of the Utah Governor’s Office of Economic Development. “We’re pleased to partner with Tooele County School District and Tooele Tech College to provide this program to students in the area, and to support our aerospace industry partners.”

UAP provides Utah students the opportunity to graduate high school with a certificate in aerospace manufacturing and begin an aerospace manufacturing career. Students engage in externships with participating aerospace companies where students engage in a hands-on externship with industry experts. This unique collaboration between education and industry not only educates students but helps fill the talent shortage in the aerospace industry.

“The UAP program will be a great addition to Tooele Technical College, as we recently added a new composites lab to the institution,” said Paul Hacking, president of Tooele Technical College. “The skills students will learn in this program, along with the other pathway courses available at Tooele County School District (TCSD), will provide them with incredible opportunities in an industry that has seen significant growth in the state of Utah. We are excited to be a part of this collaborative effort with our friends at Tooele County School District, Talent Ready Utah, and valued aerospace industry partners.”

The success of the program stems from the strong support of industry representatives who have helped write curriculum, provide work-based learning experiences, and offer a guaranteed interview for all students who earn the aerospace manufacturing certification. Participating industry partners include Albany Engineered Composites, Boeing, Hexcel, Hill Airforce Base, Janicki Industries, Kihomac, MSC Aerospace, Northrop Grumman, and Parker Aerospace.

“We are thrilled to support this expansion to Tooele County and thank the education partners that provide training for these students,” said Michael Gitto, senior human resources business partner at Boeing Salt Lake. “It is an incredibly exciting time to join the aerospace industry, which is poised for growth in commercial, defense, and space exploration, requiring new skills and providing unique career opportunities. The UAP program has been a great support to our industry, as we collaborate to strengthen Utah’s talent pipeline in the aerospace industry.”

The Utah Aerospace Pathways program is an excellent opportunity for high school students to explore secondary education and a career. Students take a manufacturing principles course at the Community Learning Center and then complete a composites course at Tooele Technical College. Students are then placed with an aerospace industry partner where they learn about the industry and future careers.

“This is a perfect example of what collaboration between K-12, secondary education and industry can do to help students prepare for the future,” said Scott Rogers, superintendent of Tooele County School District. “We thank our industry partners and Talent Ready Utah for their support in expanding this offering to our students in Tooele County School District.”