Skills Center Spotlight: SEATech Skills Center

In spring 2022, Nathanael Bennett was a senior at SEATech Skills Center in Walla Walla and finished third in the SkillsUSA Manufacturing Assembler State Competition held at Boeing’s Everett factory. Less than a year later, he’ll be at a Boeing facility in Helena, Montana to start his career.

“I’m going to be working CNC machines, making parts for all Boeing’s commercial aircraft planes from the 737 through the 787,” said Nathanael, a Core Plus Aerospace graduate. “Core Plus Aerospace helped me get this position by giving me the foundational skills I needed as well as the connections.”

A teacher and a student standing next to a machine that's cutting metal and making sparks. Core Plus Aerospace is designed with purpose, to inspire students like Nathanael, motivate them and ultimately, equip them with the knowledge, skills and confidence they need to land well-paying and respected careers.

“Core Plus Aerospace teaches students hands-on skills that’s needed for the assembly of aircraft,” said James Polson, Core Plus Aerospace instructor at SEATech Skills Center. “It’s also the same skill set that all of our area local manufacturers are looking for.

James added that demand for students graduating from SEATech’s Core Plus Aerospace program is huge and graduates have lots of opportunities in front of them. The industry demand and partnership with local manufacturing companies made Core Plus Aerospace a great fit for the school community.

“Core Plus Aerospace helps our students advance their skills in high school because of the alignment that we have in industry,” said Jerry Maher, CTE Director at Walla Walla Public Schools. “Our instructor is able to make sure students are learning skills and standards that they can apply the second they graduate high school. That makes students marketable and desirable and gives them the opportunity to be successful in industry.”

Jerry also said school districts should consider Core Plus Aerospace because it directly aligns to industry needs. He said it’s good for students who want to work in the aerospace industry and it’s good for the manufacturing industry across the state and country.

Core Plus Aerospace is helping students learn advanced manufacturing skills that will help them contribute to a thriving Washington state, but also helping them explore careers and unlock their potential.

“It’s important for Washington students to explore manufacturing careers because we have a large number of diverse manufacturing jobs available to them,” James said. “It’s a great way for students to find a career they love that provides for their family and it can be a lifelong interest for them.”