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The Aero-Flex Pre-Apprenticeship Program Provides a Launch Pad to the Aerospace Industry

When the team at the University of Southern California Center for Economic Development (CED) reviewed the proposal for a pre-apprenticeship program, submitted by West Los Angeles College (WLAC) in partnership with the South Bay Workforce Investment Board (SBWIB), they quickly recognized its potential in addressing one of the manufacturing industry’s greatest challenges – finding and attracting a qualified workforce.

The proposal was to be part of the Managed Career Pipeline Pilot Program, a CED-led Advanced Manufacturing Partnership for Southern California (AMP SoCal) initiative to strategically invest more than $336,000 in available federal funds toward workforce development.

WLAC, in partnership with SBWIB, became one of three separate AMP SoCal Managed Career Pipeline grant awardees in April 2016, and the development of the Aero-Flex Pre-Apprenticeship (Aero-Flex) began. Over time, SBWIB became lead, and the program has advanced into what it is today.

Aero-Flex is an employer-driven pre-apprenticeship framework in engineering that meets the workforce development needs common to the aerospace and advanced manufacturing industry. Partnering employers are able to flex the curriculum to their needs, build their workforce pipeline, receive funding to support training and recruitment and have access to a pool of talented job seekers ready to work. The program timeframe is 6-12 weeks and consists of work readiness training, industry specific occupational skills training and on-the-job work-based learning, provided by Aero-Flex member employers.

The program is not just beneficial for employers. Students receive an industry-recognized stackable credential, and the opportunity to advance to employment, complete college and/or enter into a registered apprenticeship. Membership into the Society of Manufacturing Engineers (SME) is also included, providing them access to SME mentor programs, SME Connect, scholarships, competitions and more. Students who complete the program can also earn qualified credentials to add to their college application and resume. Additionally, students will be provided $500 stipends for participating and successfully completing the program.

Read the complete article here.

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The information above is for general awareness only and does not necessarily reflect the views of the Office of Economic Adjustment or the Department of Defense as a whole.

 

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