Air Washington - Creating Careers in Aerospace

In 2010, unemployment in Washington State hit a Great Recession high of 10.4 percent. Yet the Boeing Company was having trouble finding skilled workers to build its planes, including the revolutionary new 787 Dreamliner. Several of the state’s community college presidents began looking for ways to address this economic disconnect. One of them, Joe Dunlap of Spokane Community College, found a possible solution in Washington, D.C., where the U.S. Department of Labor was preparing to distribute $2 billion in grants for workforce education and retraining as part of President Barack Obama’s economic stimulus program. Dunlap and like-minded executives at ten other colleges applied for a grant as a statewide consortium. They asked for the maximum single grant amount—$20 million—and they got it. Four years after the program started, more than 4,700 students have graduated and moved into the booming aerospace workforce, changing the lives of many for the better. This book recounts how the unusual educational initiative was put together, and what it taught both educators and students.
Primary Material Type:
Final Program Report
Other Material Types:
Job Training/Fieldwork Experiences, Program
Spokane Community College
aerospace, manufacturing, transportation, student success

Industry / Occupation

Industry Partner:
Washington State Center of Excellence for Aerospace and Advanced Manufacturing
Industry Sector:
Manufacturing -- Transportation Equipment Manufacturing -- Aerospace Product and Parts Manufacturing (3364)
Installation, Maintenance, and Repair Occupations -- Aircraft Mechanics and Service Technicians (49-3011)

Education / Instructional Information

Instructional Program:
Mechanic and Repair Technologies/Technicians (47)
Credit Type:
  • None
Credential Type:
  • None
Program Delivery Format:

Copyright / Licensing

Primary License:
Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.