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Green River among community colleges awarded grants for aerospace training

Thirteen Washington two-year colleges, including Green River Community College, will share $1.58 million in Governor's Investment in Aerospace (GIA) grants to develop fast turnover training in aerospace.

The grants are designed to assist community and technical colleges throughout the state develop new training in aerospace industry-identified areas. The funding is a mixture of Gov. Chris Gregoire's discretionary Workforce Investment Act (WIA) funds and state aerospace training funds.

GRCC will receive $167,234 in assistance.

In response to the governor's direction of the discretionary WIA funds and the grant RFP, community and technical colleges in Washington collaboratively formed the Aerospace Consortium for Employment (ACE). The consortium's mission is to meet urgent workforce needs with short-term training programs in the areas of precision machining, machine maintenance, fiber optics and quality assurance/inspection.

The consortium worked with The Boeing Company to identify areas of immediate need in the aerospace industry and identified two to six month training program opportunities to meet those needs.

ACE applied for and was awarded a GIA grant, which will be applied toward developing programs that retrain or enhance skilled aerospace workers in precision machining, machine maintenance, fiber optics and quality assurance/inspection. Fund allocation and usage vary between the schools.

On a whole, the monies will go toward equipment purchase, additional faculty and program development.

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