Chamber unites industry, education and commerce to advance demand-driven aerospace training
(TULSA, Okla.) —The Tulsa Metro Chamber, Tulsa Community College and other regional partners in industry and education announced that Tulsa Community College is part of a consortium receiving nearly $15 million in federal grant funding to establish a nationally-recognized aerospace certificate program. The grant will fund demand-driven training for the region’s thriving aerospace sector.
The grant, which is intended to increase the competitiveness of U.S. companies in the aerospace industry, was presented through the U.S. Department of Labor, with nearly $500 million being awarded to community colleges and universities across the nation. The Chamber played an instrumental role in ensuring the Tulsa region was included in the grant.
“We are so proud to see the Tulsa region included as part of the consortium receiving grants. This is a huge accomplishment for our region and Oklahoma, which demonstrates what we can accomplish when higher education, industry and government work together,” said Denise Reid, director of talent strategies and recruitment for the Tulsa Metro Chamber. “Receiving this grant is the result of collaborative effort that included the Chamber as well as our partners Tulsa Community College, Tulsa Tech, Workforce Tulsa, the Oklahoma Aerospace and Defense Alliance and the Oklahoma Department of Commerce.”
TCC President Tom McKeon said: “Tulsa Community College has a long history of providing timely, relevant and rigorous training for the aviation industry in Tulsa through an array of aviation training and degree programs. This grant will reinforce our efforts to prepare a strong workforce and seamless career path for Tulsa’s aviation industry.”
Spirit AeroSystems, a major industry partner in bringing the grant to Tulsa, agreed.
“Spirit AeroSystems is proud to partner with the Tulsa Metro Chamber, TCC and the Oklahoma Aerospace and Defense Alliance in bringing this opportunity to Oklahoma, said Mark Walker, senior manager of communications and public affairs at Spirit AeroSystems.
Walker added that the grant will help to attract skilled workers to meet essential workforce demands in aerospace.
“Our industry is in need of a comprehensive educational tool to keep the pipeline full of qualified candidates. This type of grant will allow our educational institutions to provide a program that supports the national certification effort. When an applicant from out of state wants to relocate in Oklahoma, the national certification lets us know how they were trained,” Walker said.
In addition to the consortium funds for aviation training announced this week, TCC also was notified by the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education that it will be the designated institution of an additional $2.5 million to fund job training in the manufacturing industry for Oklahoma through the same Department of Labor Career Training initiative. If approved, this would bring the total funding for job training through the DOL grant for TCC and Tulsa to $3.8 million, McKeon said.
Editor’s Notes:Established in 1903, the Tulsa Metro Chamber’s mission is to serve as the principal business-driven leadership organization improving the quality of community life through the development of regional economic prosperity. The Chamber represents 3,000 member organizations, approximately 175,000 area employees and utilizes 3,400 volunteers to accomplish its programs and services.