TNCC and NASA Langley Train Workforce of the Future in High Tech Field Through a Partnership Spanning Decades

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High tech industries demand a well trained workforce.  In an association spanning decades, Thomas Nelson Community College and NASA Langley Research Center have been at the forefront of training students for high tech careers all while staying on the cutting edge of aerospace industry trends.  Students from TNCC have been gaining valuable paid experience interacting with veteran NASA Langley innovators since the early 70s.

Training and/or apprenticeship programs at NASA Langley date back to 1943 and the first class of roughly 15 students from TNCC began technician training in June 1971 – about four years after the College opened. Under this program, these students attended classes at TNCC one full semester and worked at the Center for one full semester, according to NASA/Langley’s Deputy Director for Fabrication Stewart Harris.
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New Thomas Nelson/NASA Co-op Grooms Students for Careers in Aerospace

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Thomas Nelson Community College is positioning students for careers in the aerospace industry. Beginning this fall, a new SpaceTEC™ cooperative education program developed by the College and NASA Langley Research Center will provide federal work experience for eligible students committed to simultaneously earning an Associate Degree in either Mechanical Engineering Technology or Electronics with a specialization in Electrical Engineering Technology.

The program will provide formal training and salaried on-the-job training as well as a comprehensive benefits package, according to Patricia Taylor, the College’s Dean of Mathematics, Engineering and Technologies. Fourteen students will be selected for the fall semester with paid tuition and books at Thomas Nelson. Those who complete the three-year co-op and pass the SpaceTEC™ certification exam will be considered for entry in a two-year Apprentice Program at NASA, she added.

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TNCC – NASA Co-op Program Creates Opportunities for Experienced Technicians

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Thomas Nelson Community College wants to position eligible people in its service area to play an important role in developing technology for space exploration, aeronautics research, and science through NASA. A new SpaceTEC cooperative education program developed by the College and NASA Langley Research Center seeks experienced technicians who are interested in gaining federal work experience and are committed to earning an Associates Degree in Mechanical Engineering Technology at the same time.

Patricia Taylor, Dean of Mathematics, Engineering and Technologies at Thomas Nelson, said two openings are still available and recruiting is ongoing. Established to serve up to six students, the co-op aims to address a “significant” shortage of qualified machinists in the space and aeronautics industry. Those accepted in the co-op can further their education with paid tuition and books at Thomas Nelson while receiving salaried work experience at NASA, a world leader in space and aeronautics.

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