Air Washington

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Partnering with the Aerospace Industry to New Heights

Washington State is home to Boeing, the largest U.S. exporter, and more than 1,400 aerospace-related companies. During the 2007-2009 Great Recession, unemployment in Washington State soared to 10 percent (1). Yet Boeing was having a difficult time finding skilled workers to build its planes (2).

A TAACCCT grant galvanized the formation of the Air Washington Program, a consortium of 11 of the state’s community and technical colleges, to help train jobseekers for family-supporting jobs in the aerospace industry. Working closely with industry, the program helped to hire faculty, purchase new training equipment, and train students in advanced manufacturing, composites, electronics/avionics, aircraft assembly, and aircraft maintenance. Since the program began, more than 4,700 students—including veterans, single mothers, and older workers—across Air Washington campuses have graduated and entered into jobs in the aerospace industry (3).

“Aerospace is really the culture of Washington State and I grew up there. And so to be training the next generation of aerospace workers for Washington State is very satisfying.” (4)

—Carol Weigand, director for the Air Washington program

Open Educational Resources (OER)

Find and use FREE Open Educational Resources available on SkillsCommons.

Additional Project Information

Big Bend Community College’s partnership with Aviation Technical Services, which includes internships

  1. Google public data, which uses BLS.
  2. Impact book, p.1
  3. Impact book, p.1