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.