Rising high school seniors have the opportunity to explore careers in aerospace manufacturing by participating in one of Seattle Goodwill’s (WA) newest programs. The Youth Aerospace Program consists of service learning, civic participation, team building, and college and career readiness activities over the course of two years to prepare students for their senior year and for work.
With the help of a $165,000 grant from the Boeing Company, Seattle Goodwill partnered with Everett Community College and area businesses to provide exposure to the high-demand industry. The two-year opportunity is free to qualifying students, and participants receive a financial stipend based upon attendance and participation.
Approximately, 20 students will enroll in the upcoming July session after completing an interview and application process. During the second summer session in 2015, students will begin three quarters of professional and technical classes at Everett Community College, which include college and career navigation.
Students will take field trips to aerospace technology companies such as Boeing and network with aerospace industry experts as well as community leaders. Additionally, they are expected to attend weekend workshops and activities throughout their senior year. Upon completion, students will receive job placement assistance and a one-year certificate.
“At the end of the two-year cycle, ideally, what we would like to see is that students have graduated from high school, they’ve completed a one-year equivalent certificate and we’ve gotten them a good paying job at the start of a career,” Rosanna Stephens, the Goodwill’s director of planning and program development, said to the North County Outlook.
Ralph Lopez, a current participant, recently met with Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-WA) at Goodwill Industries International’s Advocacy Day, to discuss how the program helped him identify his interest in pursuing a career in aerospace.
“My family is very supportive of the program and is proud to see that I was so passionate about it,” Lopez said.