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STLCC Receives Federal Grant for St. Louis Aerospace Institute

January 22, 2009

St. Louis Community College recently received a $1.19 million grant from the U.S. Department of Labor Employment and Training Administration to create training pathways for workers in the aerospace industry.

The St. Louis Aerospace Institute will focus on training and development of programs for composites manufacturing as well as a sequence of training for three cross-functional positions that include sheet metal assembly riveter, mechanical assembly production, and mechanical electrical radio. The goals are to create career pathways that may lead directly to employment for participants, and potentially lead to further education and credentials, including certificates as well as two-year and four-year degrees.

Partners in the institute include Boeing, GKN Aerospace, the St. Louis Agency on Training and Employment, the St. Louis County Workforce Investment Board, the Ferguson-Florissant and Ritenour school districts, and Better Family Life Inc.

The institute will recruit and train 432 St. Louis area residents for these technical-level jobs. Potential recruits include dislocated workers, those who are underemployed, and K-12 graduates.

"The St. Louis Aerospace Institute will address critical workforce preparation needs as well as enhance the region’s economic competitiveness by building St. Louis Community College’s capacity to respond to this high-growth industry sector," said Roderick Nunn, STLCC’s vice chancellor for workforce and community development. "The project’s emphasis on strengthening the technical skills of the area’s current jobseekers to respond to this industry sector is important to all the partners."

Nunn also noted that this sector is being transformed by new technologies and manufacturing practices, and involves many other companies in the region who function as first- and second-tier suppliers. They also will be involved in the project as training and employment are developed.

STLCC was the only institution in the greater St. Louis region and the state of Missouri to receive funding under this competitive grant. Nationally, STLCC was one of 69 institutions chosen from among 274 applicants.