XENIA — Local educational and business entities will be looking into the creation of an aerospace institute in Greene County thanks to $50,000 of state funds.
The Greene County Career Center will take the lead in looking into the “Take Flight Academy Aerospace Institute of Greene County” project by way of a feasibility study with funds recently awarded through the Local Government Innovation Fund from the Ohio Development Services Agency.
The center would be an attempt to centralize a training facility in Greene County for both youth and adults, to prepare them for careers in the aerospace industry. The initial study will help career center officials and a long list of project collaborators to see if the institute could become a reality.
“This region is rich in aerospace and aviation history and research has revealed there is a strong need to develop a workforce for anticipated jobs in this region at a massive level,” Greene County Career Center Superintendent Dave Deskins stated in a release. “The proximity of Wright-Patterson Air Force base and the hundreds of contractors that serve the needs of the base make this an important step forward for students of all ages in Greene County.”
Areas of instruction at the institute could include aerospace and materials engineering, aviation maintenance, logistics, information technology, intelligence, security and more, according to the center’s release. The center’s curriculum would be developed by educational institutions in conjunction with advice from industry experts.
“Engineering students could be designing aircraft systems in one part of the facility while future technicians are actually building and repairing jet engines in another area,” Deskins stated in the release.
The project is a collaboration of the Greene County Career Center, Beavercreek City Schools, Clark State Community College, Wright State University and business partners Aerospace Professional Development Center, Peerless Technologies and The Greentree Group. According to the center’s release, the project has support from all of Greene County’s school district superintendents, as well as from government and private industry partners.
“The collaboration and the partnerships among all the various stakeholders in this, have compelled me to believe it’s absolutely essential and necessary for us to pull this off in Greene County,” Deskins said.
According to Deskins, research indicated over the next few years a potential of “close to $2 billion worth of income-related jobs in our area,” he said. “The question that has been raised … is: What are we doing to try to identify and ready a workforce for that volume of economic impact to our region?”
The project is set to move forward following the final funding approval by the Ohio Development Services Agency Control Board in July.