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Saskatchewan Indian Institute of Technologies Announces $2.75 M Investment from Lockheed Martin, Boeing and Rockwell Collins for Aviation Trades Training

by NationTalk on June 26, 20082147 Views

SASKATOON, June 25 – The Saskatchewan Indian Institute of Technologies (SIIT) today announced that leading global aerospace and defence companies Lockheed Martin, The Boeing Company and Rockwell Collins have invested a total of US$2.75 million to support development of SIIT’s aviation trades training.With these significant contributions, the three companies are supporting development of a training program that will help build the aircraft maintenance and other aviation trades workforce in Saskatchewan and Canada, and will develop skills and employment opportunities for First Nation youth.

“I am deeply appreciative of the contributions made by Boeing, Lockheed Martin and Rockwell Collins,” said SIIT President Randell Morris. “These companies understand that First Nation youth are our workforce of the future. The companies have become more than investors. They are our partners and will serve as technical advisors as the project develops.”

Lockheed Martin contributed US$1.5M, Boeing contributed US$750,000 and Rockwell Collins invested US$500,000. Concerned with the upcoming mass retirements that will affect the global aviation industry, these companies have chosen to invest in developing young Aboriginal Canadians as an integral part of the next-generation workforce.

The investments are part of Canada’s Industrial and Regional Benefits (IRB) Policy. The IRB Policy ensures that prime contractors provide long-term industrial benefits to Canadian industry and post-secondary institutions at a level similar in value to the amount of the awarded contract. Lockheed Martin’s investment is related to Canada’s purchase of C-130J tactical lift transport aircraft. The Boeing IRB is associated with Canada’s purchase of four new C-17 strategic lift transport aircraft. The IRB contribution by Rockwell Collins is related to its provision of state-of-the-art Full-Flight and Part-Task simulators to the Canadian Maritime Helicopter Program.

“These investments are further proof that our Canada First procurement strategy is generating significant benefits for Canadian industries and post-secondary institutions,” said the Honourable Jim Prentice, Minister of Industry. “It’s about new money being injected into the economy, and today we see how some of those resources benefit innovative academic programs such as the Aerospace Maintenance Engineering training program at the Saskatchewan Indian Institute of Technologies.”

Companies help to meet critical need for skilled aviation workers

“Lockheed Martin is proud to support a program such as the Aerospace Maintenance Engineering training program, one that will support the growing needs of the local and national aerospace industries for AME technicians,” said Jack Crisler, International Vice-President, Business Development, Air Mobility for Lockheed Martin. “Lockheed Martin believes in contributing to education, and we are looking at ways to provide training opportunities for AME students so they can gain first-hand knowledge of support and maintenance for Lockheed Martin products.”

“For nearly 90 years, The Boeing Company has enjoyed a strong relationship with Canada,” said Roger Schallom, manager of industrial participation programs in Canada for Boeing. “Boeing’s support to SIIT continues our long-standing commitment to strengthen the Canadian aerospace industry and our focus on investing in the workforce of tomorrow.”

“These investments in SIIT represent the beginning of a long-term partnership with Canada’s Aboriginal people as a vital part of one of the world’s leading aerospace countries,” stated Kevin Ferguson, General Manager of Rockwell Collins Canada. “This investment is a direct result of SIIT’s impressive business plan that addresses a critical skilled workforce demand.”

The resources garnered from companies through the IRB process are being channeled to “start up” activities, including the establishment of a high school aircraft maintenance program that will be offered with full accreditation through Mt. Royal High School; a prep program; and the diploma Aerospace Maintenance Engineering (AME) Category M program. Resources are also dedicated to the purchase of equipment and the creation of a new training site. Expected to start in 2009, the AME program will be open to First Nation and non-First Nation students.

SIIT will leverage these resources with other potential investments. In general, SIIT has ramped up its IRB work, stimulated by the fact that Canada will invest over $30B in new defence equipment. In 2005, Boeing invested approximately $1 million to upgrade the Institute’s computers and technology, and to provide database management training from Washington University. This donation was the first Boeing had made to a post-secondary institution in Canada.

“This joint funding strongly supports Saskatchewan’s aviation industry, and SIIT’s participation links highly skilled First Nation people with rewarding jobs,” Saskatchewan Enterprise and Innovation Minister Lyle Stewart said. “The partnership of Rockwell Collins, Boeing, and Lockheed Martin helps ensure that this training diversifies our technical skills base, attracts investment to the province, and serves as an excellent example of what we can achieve together.”

“The opportunities the SIIT program will offer Saskatchewan young people are more than jobs, they are careers in aviation trades and technologies,” said Janet Keim, President of the Saskatchewan Aviation Council. “The graduates will be able to find careers not only in northern and southern Saskatchewan but anywhere in Canada and beyond.”

About the Companies

Headquartered in Bethesda, MD, Lockheed Martin employs about 140,000 people worldwide and is principally engaged in the research, design, development, manufacture, integration and sustainment of advanced technology systems, products and services. The Corporation reported 2007 sales of $41.9 billion. www.lockheedmartin.com

Boeing is the world’s leading aerospace company and the largest manufacturer of commercial jetliners and military aircraft combined. Additionally, Boeing designs and manufactures rotorcraft, electronic and defense systems, missiles, satellites, launch vehicles and advanced information and communication systems. As a major service provider to NASA, Boeing operates the Space Shuttle and International Space Station. The company also provides numerous military and commercial airline support services. Boeing has customers in more than 90 countries around the world and is one of the largest U.S. exporters in terms of sales. Headquartered in Chicago, Boeing employs more than 160,000 people across the United States and in 70 countries. Total company revenues for 2007 were $66.4 billion. www.boeing.com

Rockwell Collins (NYSE: COL) is a pioneer in the development and deployment of innovative communication and aviation electronics solutions for both commercial and government applications. Our expertise in flight deck avionics, cabin electronics, mission communications and information management is strengthened by 19,000 employees, and a global service and support network that crosses 27 countries. www.rockwellcollins.com

About SIIT

The Saskatchewan Indian Institute of Technologies (SIIT) has been in existence since 1976 and is Canada’s largest First Nation-controlled and governed technical institute. SIIT serves First Nation young adults by providing vocational and technical employment programming, as well as educational services for continued career growth. SIIT is an educational institution of the Federation of Saskatchewan Indian Nations (FSIN) and is governed by a Board comprised of Senators, Saskatchewan Tribal Council appointees and an FSIN executive member. www.siit.sk.ca

For further information: Mr. Randell Morris, Saskatchewan Indian Institute of Technologies, (306) 244-4444; Kathie Lynas, Hill and Knowlton Canada, (613) 850-7859, klynas@hillandknowlton.ca; For Lockheed Martin: Keelan Green, Thornley Fallis Communications, (613) 220-2016; For The Boeing Company: Martin Sampson, Fleishman-Hillard Canada, (613) 238 -2090 x 351, martin.sampson@fleishman.ca; Amy Horton, The Boeing Company, (314) 233-4368, amy.e.horton@boeing.com; For Rockwell Collins: Pam Tvrdy, (319) 295-0591

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