Aerospace workforce programs strong in Pierce County
The aerospace industry is a huge economic engine in Pierce County and across Washington State.
According to the November 2020 Aerospace Pipeline Report published by Washington’s Workforce Training & Education Coordinating Board, Washington has the highest relative concentration of aerospace employment and earnings in the U.S., nearly nine times the overall national level.
Priming the talent pipeline
Pierce County offers multiple training and educational programs that are aligned with the aerospace industry’s needs to help the region keep its competitive edge.
Here’s a rundown:
- Pierce County Skills Center (PCSC) provides 11th an 12th graders rigorous technical and professional experiences that prepare them for high demand, high wage jobs and post-secondary education. Among its industry-spanning offerings are training and certifications in aerospace composites and aerospace machining and fabrication.
- Aerospace Joint Apprenticeship Committee (AJAC). Several Pierce County advanced manufacturing companies partner with the AJAC to recruit, train and retain aerospace employees and keep the industry alive and thriving in the Pacific Northwest.
- Universities and community and technical colleges:
- University of Washington Tacoma School of Engineering and Technology offers multiple degrees and certificate and professional programs.
- Pacific Lutheran University and University of Puget Sound have dual-degree engineering programs that combine a liberal arts education with rigorous engineering study. Each school has formal agreements with Colombia University in New York City and Washington University in St. Louis, two nationally recognized schools of engineering.
- Bates Technical College offers several areas of study and career paths under the aerospace umbrella, including construction, engineering, IT, manufacturing, and transportation and distribution.
- Clover Park Technical College’s School of Aerospace and Aviation offers degrees and certificate programs, from aviation maintenance and aviation technician programs to professional pilot training, and a BAS in Operations Management.
- Pierce College and Tacoma Community College have clear pathways to four-year degrees for students interested in careers in the aerospace industry.
Pierce County’s aerospace talent pipeline is also fortified by skilled transitioning service members from Joint Base Lewis McChord, and programs and services provided through WorkForce Central, Impact Washington and Invista Performance Solutions.