Idaho has made significant investments into the education that feeds workforce into the aerospace industry. From professional-technical programs at the high school level, to advanced aerospace composites and engineering, Idaho can provide workers to all levels of the aerospace industry. Idaho has focused toward the future, and through the funding of PTECH (Pathways in Technology Early College High-School) and North Idaho College’s Aerospace Center of Excellence (ACE) the state is well positioned to meet future demand for skilled workforce.
Kootenai Technical Education Campus (KTEC) is a partnership between business and industrial leaders, local school districts and local manufacturers. The high school hybrid offers dual enrollment credits, industrial certifications, technical training, and a new route to success through applied skilled learning. Located in northern Idaho, KTEC provides aerospace applicable training, and is working with local business to develop more programs.
Canyon Owyhee School Service Agency (COSSA) provides professional-technical programs that serve 200 students per year. Programs that relate to aerospace industry jobs include Auto Mechanics, Engineering, Welding, and Diesel Mechanics. Additional programs include Health Occupations, Culinary Arts, Building Occupations, and Business Education Entrepreneurship.
The Idaho PTECH Network helps create a skilled workforce with the professional-technical skills to succeed in today’s world. PTECH stands for Pathways in Technology Early College High School, and was modeled after a program in Brooklyn which gives high school students high quality certificates and associate degrees creating a pathway to employment with IBM. The Idaho program, however, is designed to help students connect the dots between high school, community college, and finding a job in the high-growth industries of aerospace, healthcare, and technology. Each student graduates PTECH with a set of industry credentials and certifications, by enrolling in a mix of regular high school classes and online community college courses. In college, PTECH prepares students with hands-on courses and an industry internship, and a PTECH recruiter helps with industry internships and job placement.
Aviation Career Education Academy (ACE Academy) is conducted by Idaho Aviation Association members who volunteer their time and resources to provide career briefings, orientation flights, social activities, and hands-on experience for Idaho high school students.
University & College Education
Idaho State University
ISU’s Aircraft Maintenance program offers curriculum for Technical Certificate Airframe, Advanced Technical Certificate Powerplant (includes Airframes) and Associate of Applied Science Degree Airframe and Powerplant. This program graduates approximately 22 students per year.
ISU also offer a range of Professional-Technical degree programs through the College of Technology. Programs include automotive repair, automotive technology, CAD Drafting Technology, Industrial Controls, Engineering Technician, Diesel Technology, Machining Technology, and Welding. These programs graduate approximately 60 students per year.
The College of Engineering at ISU provide students with a well-rounded engineering education. Graduates are well prepared for exciting careers in various industries such as aerospace, energy systems, defense, design, R&D, as well as entry into graduate programs. ISU’s Engineering Department graduates approximately 95 students per year ranging from bachelor’s degrees to doctorates.
The Research and Innovation in Science and Engineering (RISE) complex at Idaho State is a multi-disciplinary research and collaboration facility. This facility’s state of the art laboratory works on projects that range from electron accelerators, uranium crystal growth, semiconductor processing, imaging, and nanotech fabrication. Applicable to the aerospace industry, RISE has opened new frontiers for alpha-electric battery technology. The NanoRad PowerPack offers the potential to deliver more energy and power density than any existing battery technology, and its size to weight ratio make it ideal for individual use and aerospace. While this research is still in early stages, this is an example of industry-changing research taking place at Idaho universities.
The Center for Advance Energy Studies (CAES)
CAES is a partnership between Idaho’s three research universities and the Idaho National Laboratory. With a mission for research to help find energy solutions for our carbon strained economy, breakthroughs in biofuels, energy & fuel efficiency, and material science from this facility are changing the future of energy and industry.
North Idaho College
North Idaho College’s Aerospace Division offers eight programs in Aerospace Composites Technology and is preparing more curriculum to suit the region’s aerospace manufacturing and aircraft maintenance employers. Current programs include Aerospace Composite Fabrication, Aerospace Composite Technician, Aerospace Composite Repair & Quality Assurance, Aerospace Technology Advanced Manufacturing, and Aerospace Technology Core. Academic year 2014-2015 will see the addition of programs in computer numeric control (CNC) Mill Operator training and Non-destructive Testing & Inspection (NDT). NIC is pursuing Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) certification to train general and airframe qualified maintenance technicians. NIC also offers an Associate’s Degree in Engineering. Between these programs, NIC graduates nearly 40 students per year.
Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University
Embry- Riddle provides degree programs for military personnel through Mountain Home Air Force Base and Gowen Field at the Boise Airport. Courses include AS in Aviation Maintenance, AS/BS in Aeronautics, and Masters in Aeronautical Science.
Boise State University
Boise State University has programs in Material Science & Engineering, Electrical and Computer Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, Computer Science, Physics and Mathematics. BSU’s College of Engineering graduates approximately 120 students per year, and students routinely receive internships with NASA.
Boise Center Aerospace Laboratory (BCAL) was established in 2004 with a grant from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Housed in the Department of Geoscience, BCAL’s central mission is to provide the Intermountain West with expertise, leadership, and coordination of remote sensing research and applications, and to provide education and training programs that promote remote sensing and spatial technologies. BSU’s Geoscience Department graduates approximately 35 students per year.
University of Idaho
The University of Idaho has programs in Electrical & Computer Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, Computer Science, Chemicals and Material Science Engineers. These engineering program combined graduate approximately 290 students per year.
Programs within 90 miles of an Idaho border:
Spokane Community College’s Aviation Maintenance Technology has a program at Felts Field Airport. The school is expanding the program to include Airframe Part 147 courses, aviation, airframe and powerplant, and air traffic control. In collaboration with the Inland Northwest Aerospace Consortium, Spokane Community College has received federal grant money to develop an aerospace industry driven quality assurance and quality control course for business and work in the region. This AS9100 course is the first of five free courses being offered. In total, SCC graduates approximately 300+ students in aerospace focused training.
Gonzaga University – Gonzaga graduates approximately 100 students per year in Computer Science, Computer Engineering, Electrical Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, and Engineering Management.
Washington State University –WSU graduates approximately 485 students per year from programs in Bioengineering, Computer Science, Chemical Engineering, Electrical Engineering, Materials Science Engineering, and Mechanical Engineering.
Whitworth University – Whitworth graduates approximately 15 students per year in Applied Physics and Engineering
Eastern Washington University– Eastern Washington graduates 90 students per year in Applied Technology, Mechanical Engineering Technology, Electrical Engineering, Computer Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, Manufacturing Technology, and Construction and Design Technology.
AJAC Apprenticeship program, across Washington State gives employers an avenue to capture the knowledge of retiring tradespeople and pass that knowledge on to the next generation. In June 2014, twenty-one apprentices graduated AJAC’s four year Machining (Aircraft-Oriented) Apprenticeship Program.
Utah State University – Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, Computer Science, and Electrical and Computer Engineering. According to USU’s College of Engineering it has over 2000 undergraduate students and 367 graduate students currently enrolled.
|Aerospace Related Graduates (Yearly)|
|Idaho State University||167|
|North Idaho College||40|
|Boise State University||155|
|University of Idaho||290|
|Spokane Community College||300|
|Washington State University||485|
|Eastern Washington University||90|
|Aerospace Joint Apprenticeship Committee||21|
|Utah State University||TBD|