It’s rare for a community college to receive a 14-foot-tall, 17,000-pound gift. But when the gift is guaranteed to boost job prospects for the already in-demand aviation maintenance students at Spokane Community College, it is cause for celebration.
On Tuesday officials from The Boeing Company, the Washington Department of Commerce and Community Colleges of Spokane joined together with more than 100 aviation maintenance students and industry and government leaders to unveil a GEnx 787 Dreamliner engine Boeing donated and delivered to the program at Felts Field.
Boeing is working with technical colleges and high schools around the region to increase the number of students choosing to work in aviation and aeronautics. On Monday, Boeing hosted a jobs fair at SCC hoping to recruit new employees.
“Boeing values partnering with educational programs like Spokane Community College that prepare people for exciting careers in manufacturing and beyond,” said Bill McSherry, vice president, Government Operations, Boeing Commercial Airplanes. “Boeing is proud to help inspire tomorrow’s aviation professionals through the donation of this 787 engine. We hope working on this engine allows the next generation of leaders to follow their dreams.”
SCC aviation students and faculty spent several days moving other program aircraft out of their hangar to make room for this giant addition to their training program. About 75 students currently are enrolled in this program and more will begin the program winter quarter. Many other SCC students are enrolled in skilled trades programs that also lead to careers in aerospace and manufacturing.
One SCC 2017 aviation maintenance technology graduate and current Boeing Functional Test Manager for the 767, Jennifer Paige, took part in the SCC celebration at Felts Field Tuesday to encourage students to enroll in skilled trades. She was hired in early 2018 after attending a Boeing job fair at SCC and has worked in the 767 tanker program and the 747 program.
SCC President Kevin Brockbank and Community Colleges of Spokane Chancellor Christine Johnson thanked Boeing for its generous donation and for its role in providing high-quality careers in Washington and in promoting skilled trades.
“Our skilled trades graduates are in high demand and have great career opportunities,” said SCC President Kevin Brockbank. “This 787 jet engine donation will greatly enhance the training we can provide in Spokane. All of us at SCC, our faculty and all of our students, thank Boeing for its generosity.”
Students will use this engine to learn about size, mass, special handing considerations, conceptualization of complex mechanical interactions, visualization of actual systems and quality assurance checks.
SCC has the most comprehensive aviation maintenance and avionics program in the region. It includes two Associates of Applied Science (2-year) programs and a variety of certificates and apprenticeship.
Aviation Degrees/Certificates Offered at SCC
- Associate in Applied Science – Electronics/ Avionics
- Associate in Applied Science - Aviation Maintenance Technology
- Certificate - Aerospace Apprenticeship
- Certificate - Aerospace Composite Technician
- Certificate - Airframe Maintenance
- Certificate - AMT Avionics
- Certificate - General Aircraft Maintenance
- Certificate - Powerplant Maintenance