OKMULGEE — OSU Institute of Technology dedicated its Industrial & Aviation Technologies Training Center on Thursday.
The IATTC will feature an advanced manufacturing lab with about $750,000 of existing equipment, a nondestructive testing lab, as well as a classroom and instructional space. The center will serve Okmulgee, Hughes, McIntosh, Okfuskee and Seminole counties and throughout the state.
“OSU Institute of Technology is committed to the industry training needs of our state,” Bill R. Path, OSUIT president, said in a statement. “It is our mission to see Oklahoma’s workforce thrive, and aerospace technologies are essential to the state’s economy.”
Two issues facing rural Oklahoma are a lack of skilled workers and quality training programs available in manufacturing and aviation technologies in economically distressed regions. Over time, divestment from the private sector has taken place in these communities.
“This is a new area of growth potential for Oklahoma,” state Rep. Scott Fetgatter, R-Okmulgee, said in a statement. “The skills gap in our aerospace industries must be addressed through advanced training programs like those offered by the IATTC at OSU Institute of Technology. This center’s opening is a win for the state’s economy.”
The aerospace industry generates more than $44 billion in the state annually, according to the Oklahoma Department of Commerce.
The IATTC was made possible by an extension of a multiphase Department of Defense grant that was originally awarded to OSUIT’s Division of Workforce & Economic Development in 2014. The $1.7 million grant extension is for two years.