Jeff Edwards01We are thrilled to see the Utah Aerospace Pathways Program expand into the Iron County School District.

Gov. Gary Herbert was in Cedar City Tuesday to announce the expansion. The UAP program, which launched last September in the Davis and Granite School Districts, is a unique effort that has brought aerospace industry representatives, education leaders and government together in an unprecedented collaboration to address the demand for skilled labor in Utah's growing aerospace industry.

With this expansion, high school students in Iron County will have the opportunity to receive training in a three-trimester program during their senior year. The first trimester of the aerospace manufacturing certification will take place in the high schools, while the second trimester will require specific content learning from Southwest Applied Technology College (SWATC). Students will then be able to participate in internships with Cedar City-based MSC Aerospace, a UAP partner and parent company of Syberjet Aircraft, during the last trimester of their senior year.

Upon completing the UAP program, the students will be certified to begin work with any one of the aerospace partners in Utah; however, it is anticipated that the majority of the Iron County students will interview for jobs with MSC Aerospace or use this experience to launch their post high school education plans. The UAP program expansion was made possible through the dedication and commitment of several organizations throughout Utah, including the Governor's Office of Economic Development and the Department of Workforce Services. Iron County School District, SWATC and the State Office of Education have also worked through the educational requirements, developing the curriculum and providing teachers and school career counselors with the necessary materials. The six other aerospace industry partners in Utah are Albany Engineered Composites, Boeing, Hexcel, Hill Air Force Base, Janicki, and Orbital ATK. All of the partners continue to collaborate on aerospace workforce needs statewide.

On another exciting note, the Downtown Rising Initiative is celebrating a decade of activity and a re-launch next week as stakeholders gather to highlight past successes and identify urban priorities for the next decade. The event takes place May 3 at 10 a.m. on the Walker Center rooftop. For more information visit