August 9, 2019
Charleston, W.Va. – The West Virginia Department of Education (WVDE) along with officials from Marshall University, Yeager Airport and the West Virginia Department of Commerce today announced an aerospace partnership to drive educational and economic advances in the state. The compact emphasizes West Virginia’s commitment to growing a world-class aerospace labor force and creating opportunities for career technical education (CTE) students to gain the skills and expertise needed to work in the thriving industry.
West Virginia’s emerging aerospace sector provides an array of economic, financial and workforce advantages for the state, currently employing 4,000 West Virginians within 22 companies. The Aerospace Partnership Compact between WVDE, Marshall University, Yeager Airport and the West Virginia Department of Commerce will expand aviation education and technical training opportunities for students while addressing the industry’s demand for highly skilled workers.
There are valuable economic opportunities that exist in the aerospace sector in the state and WVDE’s career technical education program will play a critical role in creating a pipeline of skilled, industry-certified workers.
“Today’s announcement marks the beginning of a public-private partnership and our commitment to preparing the young men and women across the state for current and future career opportunities in the thriving aerospace and aviation sector,” said West Virginia Superintendent of Schools Dr. Steven Paine. “This partnership will allow our CTE students to soar into fulfilling careers in the industry.”
The signing illustrates the impact high-level partnerships can have on West Virginia’s economy. Public and private interests along with higher education and pre-K – 12 entities working together to provide a critical support will yield significant benefits for students, institutions and the greater community.
Today’s even also included a ribbon cutting on Marshall University’s planned site for an aviation school at Yeager Airport. The school is set to open in fall 2021.
“Aviation programs are going to add an exciting dimension to Marshall University’s academic programs,” said Marshall University President Dr. Jerome Gilbert. “We look forward to contributing to the activity at Yeager Airport and the economic advancement of Charleston and South Charleston.”
CTE aerospace and aviation technology programs are currently offered in five counties across the state, with plans to expand into three additional counties in the future.
Current CTE Aerospace and Aviation Technology Programs:
- Brooke County – Brooke High School
- Cabell County – Huntington High School
- Fayette County – Oak Hill High School
- Greenbrier County – Greenbrier East High School
- Raleigh County – Liberty High School
Planned CTE Aerospace and Aviation Technology Programs:
- Harrison County – Bridgeport High School
- Lincoln County – Lincoln County High School
- Mingo County – Mingo Central High School
“We are thrilled to have Marshall University locate here at Yeager Airport and to work with the state to alleviate the extreme pilot and aviation mechanic shortages we are facing,” said Terry Sayre, Yeager Airport director.