U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos visited Granite Technical Institute to see where students start in the Utah Aerospace Pathways program before moving on to related courses at Salt Lake Community College and elsewhere. DeVos met with SLCC President Deneece G. Huftalin and other education leaders as well as officials from local industries related to the Aerospace Pathways program at the Institute in Salt Lake City.
DeVos met with several students and asked questions about projects they were working on while touring a composites lab at the Institute. She had a private meeting with Huftalin and others before taking part in a press conference that focused on how education institutions and industries in Utah collaborate on Aerospace Pathways.
Since 2015, the Aerospace Pathways program has been providing Utah students the opportunity to graduate high school with a certificate in aerospace manufacturing and begin a career in that field. The first semester (60 hours of study) of the program takes place in high schools while the second semester (48 hours of study) is held at Salt Lake Community College and Davis Applied Technology College. Students also participate in paid internships during their senior year of high school. Coursework includes composite manufacturing, basic metrology, tool usage and safety, environmental health, precision measuring instruments, organization awareness, applied mathematics and reading.
Upon completion of the program and after passing pre-employment requirements, students can work for program industry partners Boeing, Harris, Hexcel, Hill Air Force Base, Janicki or Orbital ATK. Jobs at these employers are considered to provide “family-sustaining” wages and, in some cases, include tuition reimbursement programs for continued education after working for the company for at least one year.