High Hopes: Training and education programs

There are dozens of education and training programs in Washington aimed at boosting the aerospace talent pool. These are the major ones serving residents of Snohomish County.

High Schools

Sno-Isle Tech Skills Center

9001 Airport Road, Everett; www.snoisle tech.com

High school students from Snohomish and Island counties can take courses in precision machining, welding or robotics and electronics technology at Sno-Isle. Students spend half a day at Sno-Isle and half a day at their local high school. In many of the programs, students also can receive college credit for the high school courses.

Granite Falls High School ShopGirls


An extracurricular program started in 2009 at Granite Falls High School. ShopGirls is part of the school’s EcoTeam program in which the students design and build fuel-efficient cars and learn manufacturing and design principles. They compete with the cars they build.

Aviation High School

615 S. 200th St., Des Moines; www.highline schools.org/Aviation/Pages/Home.aspx

Aviation High School connects all subjects — English, history and math — to the aviation theme. The school strongly emphasizes STEM subjects and STEM-related extracurricular activities. Many students attend Aviation High because they want to be pilots, astronauts or aeronautical engineers.

Aviation High is part of the Highline School District south of Seattle and ultimately will be located at Museum of Flight at Boeing Field. Students from all over the state, including from Snohomish County, and from across the country go to school there.

Future of Flight’s Flights of Innovation Education Program

8415 Paine Field Blvd., Mukilteo; www.futureof flightfoundation.org/ education/program.shtml

The Future of Flight Foundation offers a variety of education programs focused on problem-solving and STEM subjects at the aviation center. The foundation also facilitates a student exchange between the Royal Air Force Museum and local colleges.

Museum of Flight’s Washington Aerospace Scholars program

9404 E. Marginal Way S., Seattle; www.museum offlight.org/was

Students from across the state compete for a chance to go to aerospace camp at the museum. During the six-day camp, students take part in planning a mission to Mars, tour local aerospace companies and get briefings from astronauts. Teachers in the area also take part.

Training organizations

Aerospace Joint Apprenticeship Committee (AJAC)

6770 E. Marginal Way S., Building A-106, Seattle, www.ajactraining.org/index.asp

The state established this committee to help address the demand for aerospace workers. The committee coordinates apprenticeships between workers and employers and helps with some of the training. Apprenticeships last two to four years.

Washington Aerospace Training and Research Center

3008 100th St. SW, Everett, www.washington aerospace.com

The center has 12-week programs that are a combination of online and in-shop learning. Programs include electrical or manufacturing assembly, quality assurance and tooling. Edmonds Community College oversees training for this program.

Community colleges

Everett Community College

2000 Tower St., Everett; www.everettcc.edu

The college has a variety of short-term certificates as well as two-year degrees in aerospace manufacturing, composites and computer-assisted design. EvCC also has the aviation maintenance school and vintage aircraft restoration program at Paine Field.

Edmonds Community College

20000 68th Ave. W., Edmonds; www.edcc.edu

Offers associate degrees in engineering. Through its Business Training Center, Edmonds CC has several short-term courses like computer-assisted design and composites. The community college is in charge of training at the Washington Aerospace Training and Research Center at Paine Field.

Skagit Valley Community College


The college’s manufacturing technology program offers courses in technical design, welding and manufacturing fundamentals. Skagit Valley also has a certificate program option for composites.

Lake Washington Institute of Technology


Lake Washington offers both engineering and manufacturing courses. Options include certificate and associate degree programs in areas like machine technology, welding fabrication and electronics. Although the institute is in Kirkland, about a third of its students come from Snohomish County.

Engineering programs

University of Washington


In recent years, UW has turned away qualified students to its engineering program because it doesn’t have the capacity to teach all of them. However, the university has added engineering slots due to recent legislation.

Washington State University


WSU recently started offering engineering courses at Everett Community College. The number of engineering slots will increase as the program receives more funding, as part of the a cash infusion for engineering at state universities. The first batch of WSU engineering students in Everett just started.

Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University

worldwide.erau.edu/campuses-online/ everett.html

Offers courses online for undergraduate and graduate degrees in aeronautics, technical management and business administration for aviation. The university also offers online certificate programs in aviation safety and aviation maintenance technology. Embry-Riddle leases space from Everett Community College.

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