OLYMPIA...The Senate budget committee will hold a public hearing today on legislation sponsored by state Sen. Joe Fain that would increase aerospace-training enrollments at local community and technical colleges and assist with the development of training facilities.
The measure is a critical part of a package of bills lawmakers will consider during a special legislative session that got underway Thursday; Fain says he expects it will help meet the production demands for Boeing’s new 777X line of aircraft.
“Washington’s aerospace industry provides high-quality and high-paying jobs in our state. We must ensure Washington residents are prepared to get those jobs,” said Fain, who was recently recognized as the 2013 Legislator of the Year by Washington’s aerospace industry. “Expanding enrollments and providing the necessary infrastructure means that we can maintain and create jobs in Washington.”
The measure would invest $8.5 million to increase aerospace-training enrollments as well as $10 million to permit, build and outfit training centers.
“Preparing local students with the skills necessary to compete for aerospace jobs is a major priority for our school and community,” said Steve Hanson, president of Renton Technical College. “We’re pleased that this project remains a priority for the Legislature and we appreciate the work of Senator Fain and community leaders for supporting our mission. Training students with the right skills is a great step for their career path as well as our state’s economy.”
The Renton Aerospace Training Center would receive $5 million under the proposal in addition to $5 million Fain worked to secure in the 2013-15 capital construction budget. The training center would provide cutting-edge facilities for students to gain firsthand experience with the large-scale manufacturing processes used by Boeing and other aerospace companies.
“While our aerospace industry starts with Boeing it runs much deeper with hundreds of small- and medium-sized businesses throughout the state,” continued Fain, of Auburn, who serves South King County. “What all of these companies need are people with the skills that meet their needs. This is another step to prepare Washington’s future and current employees with sustainable and high-quality jobs.”