Edmonds Community College Aerospace program highlighted at Career and College Readiness meeting

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Far left: Raphael Madison, Edmonds Community College WATR Marketing Manager and Northshore School District students. (Photo courtesy of  Edmonds Community College)
Far left: Raphael Madison, Edmonds Community College WATR Marketing Manager and Northshore School District students. (Photo courtesy of Edmonds Community College)

The Edmonds Community College/Washington Aerospace Training and Research (WATR) Center’s partnership with the Northshore School District (NSD) was featured at the Northshore School District’s annual Career and College Readiness Dinner and Advisory meeting on May 21.

The annual meeting was attended by more than 200 people, including parents, principals, department directors, board members, and district officials.

The WATR program was the only program that was showcased during this event. An overview of the WATR program was given, along with specifics on WATR’s alignment with Northshore’s Composites Engineering and Manufacturing program and outcomes. Additionally, 16 of the NSD students who graduated from the Core were presented their certificates.

“Given the high unemployment rate of recent high school graduates, the partnership between Northshore and WATR provides stackable skills education that will help students obtain livable wage employment directly out of high school in an industry that will invest in their continuing education,” said Raphael Madison, Edmonds Community College WATR Marketing Manager.

This is the second year that WATR has acted as a conduit for NSD students, which is a continuation of what the high schools offer in its Composite program.

WATR offers five short certificate programs that are each broken up into two segments. The first certificate is the CORE, which covers general terminology for aerospace, tools, etc. The second is the Specialty certificate that is more skills-based and provides hands on experience. Prior to completing the program, a Retention Specialist from WATR helps students with resumes, interviewing skills and job search assistance.

The WATR center provides flexible hybrid training opportunities to meet the fast-paced needs of the aerospace industry.

Students can earn college credits while taking any of the programs that apply to a two-year Engineering Technology-Materials Science Technology Associate of Applied Science-T (transfer) degree at Edmonds Community College.

Since the launch of the center in June 2010, the program has achieved the following documented student job numbers: 1,559 students who graduated from the program are now employed, 86 percent of graduates are working in aerospace, and 14 percent of graduates are working in non-aerospace companies. Lastly, 83 percent of students who completed WATR programs and applied for employment became employed.

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