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Students Join New Aerospace Manufacturing Apprenticeship Program

OneWeb Satellites opened a manufacturing plant at Exploration Park, just south of Kennedy Space Center. Photo: OneWeb Satellites.
OneWeb Satellites opened a manufacturing plant at Exploration Park, just south of Kennedy Space Center. Photo: OneWeb Satellites.

A new aerospace apprenticeship program on the Space Coast has welcomed its first batch of students. The move comes after Governor Ron DeSantis signed a workforce training bill two weeks ago.

The Space Coast Consortium Apprenticeship Program is a partnership with aerospace companies and education institutions in Brevard County.

The students in the program will work part-time at participating advanced manufacturing companies like OneWeb Satellites, Ruag Space and Rocket Crafters. They’ll also take classes at Eastern Florida State College for degrees in Engineering & Aerospace tech.

Governor Ron DeSantis says the program helps fill a gap of skilled aerospace workers -- which will attract more private companies.

“I think that when businesses see that Florida is taking serious the need for a skilled workforce, I think that is really the key ingredient,” said DeSantis.

The nine students signed apprenticeship contracts alongside the Governor at OneWeb Satellites in Merritt Island. After completing the two-year program, students will be offered a full-time position with the participating companies.

The Consortium plans to expand the program to other schools like Valencia College and expects about 30 students to join next year.

“I think this is a great model for what we can do throughout the state. Different parts of the state have different economic bases, there are needs for talent in different types of industries,” said DeSantis.

 

Brendan Byrne is WMFE's Assistant News Director, managing the day-to-day operations of the WMFE newsroom, editing daily news stories, and managing WMFE's internship program.

Byrne also hosts WMFE's weekly radio show and podcast "Are We There Yet?" which explores human space exploration.