Governor Kay Ivey has announced plans to create the Alabama Aviation Education Center, a hands-on instructional facility to be located near the Airbus aircraft manufacturing facility in Mobile.
The $6.5 million facility, developed in partnership with Airbus, is aimed at boosting Alabama’s workforce development efforts by providing aviation-themed activities and STEM-focused educational programs.
“Alabama’s aviation and aerospace industries are poised to drive economic growth in the state over the next 20 years, and it’s important that we prepare for this expansion with game-changing workforce development initiatives,” Governor Ivey said in a press release. “The Alabama Aviation Education Center will enhance our efforts to show young people that they can find rewarding career opportunities in the state’s dynamic aerospace industry.”
“Airbus strongly supports the establishment of this education center, a facility that will be of great benefit both to the region and to the aerospace industry,” said Allan McArtor, chairman of Airbus Americas. “It will provide Gulf Coast residents, students and visitors a place to learn about the rich history and bright future of aerospace in Mobile, to see themselves as a part of this industry, and to learn more about the ways in which the Mobile Bay area, the state of Alabama and the entire Gulf Coast are benefiting from the aerospace hub at the Brookley Aeroplex at Mobile.
The facility will be open to the public, with a minimal entrance fee to help offset its operating costs.
The center will be funded by $5 million from the Alabama Governor’s Office and $1.5 million from Airbus through AIDT reimbursements for job training.
While the future of manufacturing in Mobile is growing, roughly 500 Mobile County Public High School students participated in a career and technical education fair at The Grounds on Wednesday to learn about future careers in shipbuilding, training programs, branches of the military, etc.
Local employers say these high school students are the future workforce in Mobile, and the Aviation Education Center will just be another outlet for them to explore their potential.