When Makayla Lear, 17, began her senior year at the Community Learning Center at Blue Peak High School in Tooele, she enrolled in the engineering and manufacturing curriculum with an eye on one day going into biomedical engineering to design prosthetics.
But, as talented young people do sometimes, she found another area of interest that became available at her school — aerospace and composites manufacturing — and signed up for it, too.
“I hope to be able to learn more insight about the engineering field, and taking these classes helps open some doors to companies and being able to get into a good program for college,” she said. The new program also offers students the opportunity to “get a foot in the door” at a firm in the aerospace composites industry, she said.
Talent Ready Utah, in conjunction with the Tooele County School District, Tooele Technical College and aerospace industry partners, Wednesday announced the expansion of the Utah Aerospace Pathways program in Tooele. Lear was among a group of students, educators and industry partners gathered at Tooele Technical College for the announcement.
Established in 2016, the program today has 33 students enrolled, according to Scott Romney, Talent Ready program manager with the Utah Governor’s Office of Economic Development.
He said the industry is in need of thousands of people over the next several years to meet the demand for qualified workers in the composite manufacturing sector.
“We’re trying to get programs like this set up across the state to fill that pipeline,” he said. “There is a huge demand in this industry that is only growing.”
The program offers Utah students the chance to graduate high school with a certificate in aerospace manufacturing, giving them a leg up in starting an aerospace manufacturing career, he said. Read more…