Edmonds Community College's Washington Aerospace Training and Research Center has been noted as an exemplary national workforce development program and is a finalist for the Bellwether Award from the Institute of Higher Education at the University of Florida. This year's conference theme is "The Workforce 2020."
The award will be given at the 2011 Community College Futures Assembly Jan. 29-Feb. 1 in Orlando, Fla. The Assembly, a national independent policy think tank, identifies critical issues facing American community colleges and recognizes innovative programs. This year's conference theme is "The Workforce 2020." The discussion will focus on the extent that community colleges are prepared to address the needs of the future workforce, identify potential gaps, and develop recommendations for policymakers.
Two other community college workforce development programs in Washington state are Bellwether finalists: Shoreline Community College's "A Proven Partnership: Shoreline Community College and Automotive Manufacturers/Dealers" and Bellevue College’s "It Takes a Village: Strategic Partnerships for Student Success."
The Washington Aerospace Training and Research Center, the WATR Center, opened in June of 2010 to provide flexible and nimble training opportunities in manufacturing, avionics, and composites to meet the fast-paced needs of the aerospace industry.
The training center offers an Aerospace Manufacturing Core Certificate and an Aerospace Assembly Mechanic Certificate. Credits for both certificates count toward a two-year Manufacturing and Materials Technology Associate of Technical Arts degree or a Materials Science Technology Associate of Applied Science-T (transfer) degree at Edmonds Community College.
Classes begin Jan. 13. Students begin online with the Aerospace Manufacturing Core Certificate and then have an onsite assessment of the course material. Upon completion, students enter the Aerospace Assembly Mechanic Certificate, which includes three weeks of online training and four weeks of hands-on training at the WATR Center. Completion of both certificates takes approximately 11 weeks. To register, call 425.640.1840. For more information, visit www.washingtonaerospace.com.