Department of Defense grant-funded training programs will strengthen the aerospace workforce
OSU Institute of Technology will officially open the Industrial & Aviation Technologies Training Center (IATTC) during a ribbon cutting ceremony and open house event on the Okmulgee campus Nov. 7 and 8.
The IATTC will include an advanced manufacturing lab with approximately $750,000 of existing equipment, a non-destructive testing lab, as well as a classroom and instructional space. The center will serve aviation and defense industries throughout the state as well as industries in the surrounding five counties: Okmulgee, Hughes, McIntosh, Okfuskee and Seminole.
“OSU Institute of Technology is committed to the industry training needs of our state,” said Dr. Bill R. Path, OSUIT president. “It is our mission to see Oklahoma’s workforce thrive, and aerospace technologies are essential to the state’s economy.”
Two critical issues facing rural Oklahoma are a lack of skilled workers and quality training programs available in manufacturing and aviation technologies in economically distressed regions; the result over time has been divestment by the private sector in these communities.
“This is a new area of growth potential for Oklahoma,” said State Rep. Scott Fetgatter. “The skills gap in our aerospace industries must be addressed through advanced training programs like those offered by the IATTC at OSU Institute of Technology. This center’s opening is a win for the state’s economy.”
Due to its centralized locality, Oklahoma has a strong aerospace hub and as a result, the aerospace industry has a significant impact on the state. According to the Oklahoma Department of Commerce, the industry brings in upwards of 44 billion dollars annually.
With strong projected industry growth, low career visibility and aging employees, the skills gap is increasing in these industries.
“As we work with industry throughout the state, the opening of the IATTC represents a major step in OSUIT’s efforts to alleviate that condition by addressing the skills gap in the incumbent workforce and creating a stream of skilled workers necessary to support growth of manufacturing in Oklahoma,” said Charles Harrison, associate vice president of OSUIT Workforce & Economic Development.
The IATTC opening is made possible by an extension of a multiphase Department of Defense (DoD) grant that was originally awarded to OSUIT’s Division of Workforce & Economic Development in 2014. The $1.7 million grant extension is for two years.
The training center will focus on 11 technologies fundamental to DoD contractors and subcontractors, aeronautics manufacturers and general industry:
- Geometric Dimensioning & Training (GD&T)
- Computer Aided Design (CAD)
- Basic Machine Shop
- Motors and Controls
- Programmable Logic Controllers (PLCs)
- Hydraulics & Pneumatics
- Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning (HVAC)
- CNC Machines (Advanced Manufacturing)
- Non-Destructive Testing (NDT)
The ribbon cutting celebration will take place at the Donald W. Reynolds Training Center on the OSUIT campus, 1801 E. 4th St., Okmulgee, Nov. 7 at 2 p.m.
Doors will be open for self-guided tours Nov. 7 from noon to 5 p.m. and Nov. 8 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
The second project of the grant extension implements a program which addresses one of the DoD’s strategic technical priorities, cybersecurity.
OSUIT will be able to provide support for the DoD technical focus in cybersecurity, increased business growth and sustainability through cybersecurity training and awareness efforts and the expansion of state incident response capabilities.
The focus of the training and awareness will center on the requirements found in the National Institute of Standards and Technology publication 800-171r1 and the Defense Federal Acquisition Regulation Supplement minimum security standard.
There are four areas of training: a no-cost, one-day introductory cybersecurity short course for any/all DoD contractors and sub-contractors in the state, on-demand three-day intermediate level cybersecurity courses, training materials and checklists to be provided to general industries in Oklahoma to aid in recognizing and resolving areas of opportunity in cybersecurity and self-help checklists provided to businesses which allow them to conduct internal audits and determine next steps.
“OSUIT is proud to have the confidence of the Department of Defense as we educate our workforce to better address cyber threats," said Christian Bradley, dean of the School of Creative & Information Technologies at OSUIT.