Northrop Grumman have launched of a new talent pipeline program in San Diego that provides community college students enrolled in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) degrees with paid, work-based learning opportunities and a pathway to qualification for careers in the aerospace and defense industries.
Northrop Grumman partnered with MiraCosta College and Palomar College for the pilot phase of the new program during school year 2019–2020 and is exploring additional partnerships through the San Diego & Imperial Counties Community College Association (SDICCCA) for school year 2020-2021.
"Establishing a framework to collaborate with education systems is necessary for building a strong local talent pipeline and supports a long-term workforce planning strategy," said Alfredo Ramirez, vice president, engineering, Northrop Grumman. "Our decision to develop a community college pilot fills a critical gap bridging K-12 and university programming, allowing us to reach and engage students in San Diego throughout their education journey."
A small cohort of students from MiraCosta and Palomar colleges were selected for the fall 2019 semester through an application and interview process. These students are now part-time engineering assistants and technicians and will earn credit at their respective colleges while gaining career experience in systems integration and test, software engineering and electronics and payloads at Northrop Grumman’s San Diego Autonomous Design Center of Excellence located in San Diego.
According to Northrop Grumman, its involvement with San Diego Regional Economic Development Corporation (EDC) Inclusive Growth Steering Committee inspired its commitment to contribute to the regional goal of 20,000 new jobs by 2030. The pilot program also supports the Advancing San Diego initiative which aims to cultivate a more inclusive economy, as we look inward to address regional talent shortages by strengthening the relationship between business and education systems.