Throughout my high school career engineering CTE classes were limited, but the ones offered were very much appreciated. I took technical drawing and introduction to engineering. While those classes provided insight to the engineering world, the hands-on projects were limited. Yet, this year I had a once in a lifetime opportunity. A new program was going to be [launched]: Utah Aerospace Pathways.
As soon as I [found out] about the program I signed up and enrolled. I’ve had the opportunity to learn how to operate some of the basic machines like the manual mill, the manual lathe, and see how the CNC mill and the lathe operate. I am also being educated in composites. The manufacturing of composites is a growing industry and therefore competitive. The class teaches the basic components at the same time allowing students to receive hands-on experience. We learn that there is a ratio between resin and matrix and apply that concept by making a project. By completing this course I am considered for a job opportunity with a composites company like Hexcel, Harris, Boeing, or Orbital ATK.
I have finished enough of the course to get a paid internship at Hexcel. I had the opportunity to meet with them last night and discuss the details of my internship. We discussed when I would be completing my 48 hour internship, the uniform needed, the appropriate shoes, and a picture ID badge. I’m excited to begin my engineering career while still in high school!
The Utah Aerospace Pathways program provides Utah students the opportunity to graduate from high school with a certificate in aerospace manufacturing and begin an aerospace manufacturing career. This unique program has brought aerospace industry representatives, education leaders, and together in an unprecedented collaboration.
In Utah, aerospace and defense is a $5.4 billion industry (GOED). In 2013, the average manufacturing worker in the United States earned $77,506, annually, including pay and benefits (Bureau of Economic Analysis, 2013). A career in the aerospace industry is high skill, high wage, and high demand.
To participate in the Utah Aerospace Pathways program contact your Career and Technical Education (CTE) teacher or school counselor. They will provide you with the information you need to get started on THE CAREER OF A LIFETIME!