New Center for Workforce Development to expand STEM education, aerospace jobs

Cassie Barlow

Cassie Barlow is executive director of the Aerospace Professional Development Center at Wright State and the Advanced Technical Intelligence Center.

Wright State will grow STEM education in the region and prepare workers for jobs in intelligence, aerospace and defense through a new professional development collaboration.

The Center for Workforce Development at Wright State University will create “industry informed workforce development of Pre-K through adult learners,” said Cassie Barlow, the executive director of both the Aerospace Professional Development Center (APDC) at Wright State and the Advanced Technical Intelligence Center (ATIC).

The new workforce development collaboration will focus on training, education, research and development and job placement efforts.

It will also prepare veterans for skilled, technical positions in the civilian workforce and prepare thousands to fill key jobs in intelligence, aerospace and defense industries in Ohio.

“These three activity centers have a laser focus on workforce development for Ohio using STEM education as a springboard to develop a sustainable system to produce the workforce needed in Ohio,” Barlow said.

Barlow announced the creation of the Center for Workforce Development at a Jan. 16 ceremony celebrating the grand opening of APDC.

APDC ribbon cutting

From left: Wright State Provost S. Narayanan, Aerospace Professional Development Center Executive Director Cassie Barlow, state Sen. Chris Widener, Wright State Applied Research Corporation CEO Dennis Andersh and Wright State board member Michael Bridges at the grand opening of the APDC Jan. 16.

APDC seeks to ensure Ohio develops the workforce needed for the future, Barlow said.

Its goals are to help place Ohioans into thousands of specialized jobs that aerospace and defense employers find hard to fill and ensure Ohio has a skilled workforce in aerospace and defense that meets current and growing needs of employers.

The aerospace and defense industry employs 170,000 people in Ohio and has grown 20 percent over the last five years.

“At Wright State, we are committed to student success, meeting the students where they are educationally, economically and experientially, to get students to the finish line of a degree or employment — however they define it,” said Wright State University Provost S. Narayanan. “The Aerospace Professional Development Center represents our efforts to collaborate with other institutions and industry partners to produce a skilled workforce that meets the needs of Ohio’s aerospace and defense employers around the state.”

ATIC works with the Wright State Research Institute to pursue business development opportunities and create robust research, education and training capabilities throughout the Dayton region.

The Regional STEM Collaborative encourages students in local schools across 14 counties to pursue education and jobs in science, technology, engineering and math. It includes a collaborative network consisting of Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, industry partners, higher education institutions, K-12 schools and regional economic development organizations.

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