Air Washington Project Gains National Acclaim for Workforce Training
Posted: 3/26/2015 1:19:15 PM

[Spokane, Wash.] The statewide Air Washington program, which is administered at Spokane Community College, was chosen this week as an “exemplary workforce training program” by the U.S. Department of Labor Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College & Career Training (TAACCCT) grant program.

Air Washington is a consortium of 11 of Washington State’s 34 community and technical colleges, which received a 3-year, $20 million, Department of Labor grant to strengthen the aerospace industry through workforce training. By fall of 2014, Air Washington campuses trained more than 2,600 workers in advanced manufacturing/composites, electronics/avionics, aircraft assembly and aircraft maintenance.

The collaborative effort, which offers credit, non-credit, degree and certificate programs, is critically important to the economy of Washington State now and into the future, because it helps local employers find, educate and train the workers needed to meet global demand for the world’s most sophisticated, modern airplanes and related avionics tools, technologies, equipment and services. This program is noted for its close working relationship with the aerospace industry, especially the Boeing Company, to ensure that students are prepared for immediate employment.

TAACCCT was designed to support partnerships between community colleges and employers to build training programs that meet the needs of growing industries and construct career pathways for unemployed, underemployed and dislocated workers. A key element of the Air Washington program was a commitment to developing curriculum and training materials released under Creative Commons Attribution license, which allows free and open access to anyone.

Air Washington produced a free, open Aviation Vocabulary Dictionary specifically designed for students for whom English is a second language. The consortium has also produced a free, open math instruction resources textbook that helps students prepare themselves for successful entrance into Air Washington’s more technically complicated programs.

Air Washington’s accessible course materials makes it possible for more students to affordably earn industry recognized certifications that are required by aerospace employers both in and outside the U.S., such as the European Aviation Safety Agency’s B-1 certification, in addition to the domestic U.S. Federal Aviation Administration’s Airframe and Power Plant (A&P) certification.

Spokane Community College is part of the Community Colleges of Spokane, a district in Eastern Washington with nearly 30,000 students.

Editors: Contact Community Colleges of Spokane PIO Carolyn Casey for interviews, photos or videos from Air Washington. 509-434-5109;

Find out more: Air Washington website   TAACCCT Award Profiles
Shared Air Washington curriculum and course materials can be found here .

Posted: 3/26/2015 1:19:15 PM by Gretje Witt
Tags: AirWashington, Grants, PressRelease, SCC
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