Five Core WIB Roles


Transitioning High-Tech Workers from Sector to Sector

Recognizing that as many as one-third of aerospace and defense contractors' employees are nearing retirement - a forecast for a critical shortage of workers - CSA enlisted NOVA's expertise in conducting labor market research to examine the prospect of transitioning information technology workers to aerospace-related information technology specialists.

Long-time partners in workforce training, NOVA often joins forces with UC Santa Cruz Extension to design training programs that prepare job seekers to succeed in emerging high-tech fields, and equip incumbent workers with new expertise to adapt to industry advances. UC Santa Cruz Extension works quickly to devise coursework and when an opportunity for software engineers in the aerospace industry emerged, NOVA availed their services once again. Working together with Silicon Valley aerospace and defense companies, including Lockheed Martin and Loral, and with the federal support of the Workforce Innovation in Regional Economic Development (WIRED) Initiative, a pilot training program coalesced.

Launched in April, 2007, the Certificate Program for Software Development for Aerospace and Defense Applications comprises a four-month curriculum fashioned for seasoned workers, particularly from the high-tech sector. The specialized coursework merges workers' skills and experience with transitional training. With another class warming up, twenty-eight students will emerge with new expertise to fill high-wage positions in the aerospace industry. NOVA will track their progress in this burgeoning field, with prospects of continuing the program. Additionally, NOVA hopes to supplement upcoming coursework with industry internships to bolster the link between skilled workers, high-tech training, and high-quality jobs.

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