I have some good news. Yes, really!
Gov. Gregoire announced a proposal to ensure Washington remains competitive in the aerospace industry. This includes supporting local students to fill these in-demand jobs.
The proposal would provide $9.8 million in funding for aerospace education by increasing engineering degrees at the University of Washington and Washington State University:
- $7.6 million to the UW and WSU to enroll 775 more engineering students; and
- $1.5 million with additional support from companies, foundation, and donors to create a Center for Aerospace Technology Innovation at UW and WSU to support university research that will grow the aerospace sector and lead to new jobs in Washington.
Funding also supports science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) efforts in high schools:
- $450,000 to expand the Launch Year program and provide 12 high schools with aerospace curriculum support to prepare high school students to enter the workforce. The investment would also provide two Skills Centers with aerospace manufacturing support to help train additional high school students; and
- $250,000 to add “Project Lead the Way” courses at 10 high schools which focus on problem-solving using STEM fields and skills.
In addition the proposal includes the creation of a Governor’s Aerospace Office to provide focus, direction, oversight, and coordination to grow Washington’s aerospace industry.
The funds would come from a variety of sources including reserves and state dollars. You can find details of the governor’s proposal here, and a recent study on Washington’s competitiveness in the aerospace industry here. We expect to see governor-request legislation over the next few weeks.