As at most groundbreakings, a bevy of officials turned over ceremonial shovels full of dirt. But at the September groundbreaking for Flight Works Alabama, eyes turned to the heavens as well as the ground.
Mobile school kids had a chance to don virtual reality headsets and check out the displays that will welcome visitors to Airbus facilities at Mobile Aeroplex.
Dubbed an aviation experience center, Flight Works will offer interactive exhibits to lure young people and adults to aviation careers.
Nine educational partners — Auburn University, Bishop State Community College, Coastal Alabama Community College, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, Troy University, Tuskegee University, University of South Alabama, University of Alabama and University of West Alabama — will provide courses for new and experienced aviation workers.
“Success for Airbus, and any company, means we can’t just look at what we’re doing now; we need to look at what we need later — whether it be next year, next decade, or the next five decades,” said Jeff Knittel, Airbus Americas chairman and CEO. “What Airbus and other companies in our industry need to be successful in the future is a skilled, knowledgeable workforce that is ready for that future. Flight Works will help us create that workforce in a fun, creative way.”
Flight Works sponsors to date are Airbus Foundation, Alabama Power Foundation, Conde Systems, Mobile County Commission, Mott MacDonald, Hoar Program Management, Johnson Controls, Mech-Net, Pratt & Whitney, Safran and Snap-On.
Dave Helms is copy editor of Business Alabama.