British billionaire Sir Richard Branson’s Southern California based aerospace technology firm The Spaceship Company / Virgin Galactic has joined the growing list of local aerospace manufacturing and technology companies looking to fill their entry-level employment needs through the College of the Canyons Fast Track Institute.
This week, Fast Track graduate Morgan Kennedy was hired by The Spaceship Company / Virgin Galactic, a mere three and a half weeks after completing the college’s Fast Track CNC Machining program.
The Spaceship Company (TSC) has established an operational goal to build the world’s first fleet of commercial sub-orbital spaceships and carrier aircraft — thus making access to space safe, reliable and affordable. In 2012, Virgin Galactic, the world’s first commercial spaceline and sister company to TSC, fully acquired the firm, bringing commercial space travel one step closer to realization.
For many students like Morgan, the idea of being part of a team working to launch a mission into space might have been nothing more than a far fetched, science fiction inspired dream, previously reserved for the ranks of NASA engineers and scientists.
But with the Fast Track Institute’s proven ability to provide local aerospace companies with highly skilled employees trained in the areas of CNC machining and manufacturing assembly processes, that dream is fast becoming a reality for more and more of the college’s Fast Track graduates.
“The Fast Track Institute provides two key services,” said Pete Bellas, dean of economic development at the college. “We help our students land well-paying jobs, and we help local companies identify the type of well-trained, highly-skilled employees they’re looking to hire.”
In June, the college also established a working relationship with world-renowned space exploration and technology firm SpaceX, when the company participated in the Fast Track Institute’s post-graduation focused job fair and interview process.
SpaceX designs, manufactures and launches advanced rockets and spacecraft, with a goal to revolutionize space technology and eventually enable people to live on other planets. SpaceX generated international headlines by becoming the first privately held company to make a cargo delivery to the International Space Station, and return safely to Earth, when its Dragon spacecraft achieved that feat on May 25, 2012.
At the job fair event, SpaceX representatives were so impressed with the college’s Fast Track program — and the group of highly skilled recent graduates — that the company extended an invitation to have the class visit its Hawthorne, CA headquarters for a private tour and series of follow-up job interviews.
Building on that success, in the last year alone graduates of the Fast Track Institute’s CNC Machining program have interviewed with and/or been hired by firms including: The Spaceship Company / Virgin Galactic, SpaceX, ITT Aerospace, M.S. Aerospace, Aerospace Dynamics International (ADI), True Position Technologies, Fralock, and UKAM Industrial Superhard Tools.
Based on its success in recruiting and training highly skilled employees in the areas of CNC machining and manufacturing assembly processes, the college’s Fast Track Institute is excited to establish new and ongoing partnerships with local firms looking to fulfill their employment needs.
“As evidenced by high placement and retention rates, both the Fast Track CNC Machining and Fast Track Assembly programs have consistently demonstrated that they deliver well-trained entry-level technicians to the region’s manufacturing companies,” said Joe Klocko, director of the college’s Center for Applied Competitive Technologies (CACT). “If your company is seeking to hire these hard to find technicians, you need to connect with the College of the Canyons Fast Track Institute.”