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Greater Tulsa area organizations take flight with education grants from the Aeronautics Commission

Wednesday, August 11, 2021

OKLAHOMA CITY – Fifty organizations were awarded Aerospace and Aviation Education Program grants totaling over $365,000 at the Oklahoma Aeronautics Commission’s (OAC) August meeting. Grants are for targeted learning programs that have a direct application to aerospace and aviation for primary through post-secondary education. The grant funds are part of the agency’s initiative to give more Oklahoma young people access to STEM careers in the aerospace and aviation industry.

The commission approved a $25,000 education grant for STARBASE Oklahoma Inc.'s, Into the Sky with STEM & STARBASE OK program. The program provides hands-on, inquiry-based aerospace STEM educational enrichment to 4,500 Oklahoma 5th graders through 30 hours of instruction and STEM career days, as well as to 6th-8th grade students via STARBASE 2.0, and after-school STEM mentoring program.   The commission also approved a $12,500 education grant for Tulsa Community WorkAdvance for aerospace and advanced manufacturing job training. Tulsa Community WorkAdvance (TCW) is a unique program that is proven to bridge the skills gap in Tulsa's aerospace and advanced manufacturing sectors. TCW's goal is to bridge the skills gap to drive economic growth and provide a pipeline of skilled workers to area employers while simultaneously increasing postsecondary credentials, technical skills, soft skills, and employment for low-income Tulsans in order to break the cycle of poverty. Graduates of the program are trained and ready to work in under six months, and TCW partners with local aerospace and aviation businesses to determine the skills needed for entry-level positions in manufacturing, aerospace, and logistics.

The Aerospace and Aviation Education Grant Program has been awarding aviation education grants for over 30 years. Charged with the mission by state statute, the Commission fosters and encourages students to consider aerospace or aviation as a career. The Commission’s grant program has years of positive results. The initiative supports the Oklahoma Works project that aims to address the skills gap and connect students to programs that will help build the workforce of Oklahoma’s second-largest industry.

“When you can find a way to bring science and math to life for students, that’s a huge part in motivating a love of learning that can open doors the rest of their lives.  When you couple that with education and training resources, it means they can end up with some of the best paying jobs there are in our state,” Sen. Kevin Matthews, D-Tulsa.  “I’m grateful to the Oklahoma Aeronautics Commission for awarding these education grants, and to STARBASE Oklahoma Inc. and the Tulsa Community WorkAdvance programs for utilize these resources to create a better future for our citizens.”

The OAC’s nationally recognized program enjoys a positive reputation as one of the most robust aviation education programs among state aviation agencies. For the 2021-22 school year, Oklahoma will rank #3 in the country in the number of schools teaching the AOPA curriculum. Since FY2001, the Commission has awarded $4.15 million in aerospace and aviation education grants.

“Through aerospace education, The Tulsa community is making a real difference in the lives of their students.  We know that these programs are providing students with valuable insight into the potential for a future aviation and aerospace career,  and we wish them great success with their programs,” said Paula Kedy, MA. Ed., Aerospace and Aviation Education Coordinator for the Commission.

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Last Modified on Apr 13, 2023