The Washington State Department of Commerce approved a $101,000 WorkStart grant to Northwest Workforce Council to help Hexcel Corporation train employees at their newly-expanded facility in Burlington, Washington. The Strategic Economic Development grant is complemented by a 20 percent cash match from the company.
“Hexcel is very pleased to benefit from this grant. By providing funding to train our work force, it is another great step for Washington State’s drive to be a center of excellence for aerospace,” said Jim Collins, Hexcel Plant Manager. Hexcel Burlington employees will gain portable, industry-based credentialing in advanced manufacturing skills sought throughout the region and the industry.
According to the state Department of Commerce, “this business expansion project is supported by a broad partnership that includes Hexcel Burlington, Northwest Workforce Council, Economic Development Association of Skagit County, Skagit Valley College and Green River Community College.”
“These entities came together in a collaborative effort to promote quality manufacturing jobs in the local Burlington community. New aerospace product orders are driving job growth, primarily in Hexcel’s composite laminating and autoclave operations,” officials added.
“Demand for workers with unique skill sets required to serve the global aerospace industry has accelerated since Boeing made the decision to locate the 777x program and its composite wing production here in Washington. Bringing together our community colleges, workforce training, and state economic development resources to provide employer-driven customized training programs is strengthening our state’s capacity to serve the composite materials sector worldwide,” Governor Jay Inslee said.
“Companies serving aerospace and other industry sectors that are using more advanced carbon fiber composites need a workforce with very specialized skills, often unique to their particular production processes. The WorkStart program is designed to get workers ready to go and on the floor with the necessary expertise quickly and cost-effectively,” said Commerce Director Brian Bonlender.