By Klarissa Williams
Iron County Today
CEDAR CITY—On July 12, Utah Governor Gary Herbert travelled to Cedar City for a meet and greet with students from the Utah Aerospace Pathways (UAP) program. He sat with the students at the airport, taking time with each student to hear about their experience within the program and about their current employment.
Graduates of the program have found employment at Metalcraft Technologies, a manufacturer of aircraft parts and aerospace structures, located in Cedar City. The Utah Aerospace Pathways program gives students an introduction to the technical knowledge they need to enter the aerospace manufacturing industry upon graduation, presenting them with a different pathway to success.
“The challenge that we face is that have a diverse, healthy economy in this state, but that doesn’t translate to rural Utah,” Herbert said about the goal to bring more economic success to the rural areas of Utah. The Utah Aerospace Pathways program was launched by Herbert and Utah Aerospace industry partners in 2015 in the attempt to bring more jobs to the area.
Prior to meeting with the students, the governor met with leaders from MSC Aerospace (Metalcraft Technologies and SyberJet Aircraft), Southwest Tech College, and Southern Utah University Aviation. The higher education institutions have partnered to work with UAP to offer dual enrollment to high schoolers in the program, giving them a chance to earn college credit with the completion of the program.
“Thanks to all of you for your collaboration in working together, because I think this is a model that can be translated into other areas of need throughout the state and throughout the country,” he said. The governor commended the schools and industry leaders on the innovative ways they are working to merge higher education with technical education.
The governor’s visit ended with a photo op in front of aircraft from the airport and from SUU’s Aviation program.