After receiving a $50,000 gift from Lockheed Martin for its aircraft maintenance technology program, Greenville Technical College has named a classroom at its aviation center “The Lockheed Martin Fabrication Lab.”
The aviation center is shared by the college and the S.C. Army National Guard and is part of the S.C. Technology and Aviation Center, where the Lockheed Martin Greenville facility is located.
The aircraft maintenance technology program at Greenville Technical College is approved by the Federal Aviation Administration and the Veterans Administration and is designed to provide students with the technical, mechanical and academic skills needed to become aircraft maintenance technicians. In the Lockheed Martin Fabrication Lab, students learn sheet metal and structural maintenance skills for jobs as sheet metal technicians in the aviation industry, according to a news release.
Lockheed Martin has supported the aircraft maintenance technology program and the college in a variety of ways for more than two decades, according to the news release, including providing more than $400,000 in charitable contributions. Some of these donations have been used for an endowed scholarship fund, which has provided nearly 90 scholarships to date. A 2014 gift helped to create campus-based centers where veterans can gather and study. The funds also paid for new tools and equipment.
In addition to its financial contributions, Lockheed Martin has partnered with the college to develop and implement a two-week pre-apprenticeship training program that the company is using to meet workforce needs in aircraft sustainment and production operations, including its F-16 fighter jet production line, the release said.
The program’s first cohort was in 2020, and it resulted in three students gaining entry-level positions at Lockheed Martin. This year, Lockheed Martin intends to have 60 students complete the training and obtain the qualifications and experience needed to begin work in the aerospace and advanced manufacturing industries.
“Lockheed Martin is growing, and with that growth comes a greater need to create a pipeline of skilled job candidates,” Ann Wright, vice president for advancement with the Greenville Tech Foundation, said in the release. “The company has worked closely with the college to address specific training requirements, growing a skilled workforce together, and ensuring, through their continued generosity, that the college has the latest training tools and students receive the highest quality education.”
Lockheed Martin is hiring at its Greenville site and offering $15,000 sign-on bonuses for all hourly roles and relocation incentives for select roles.
“Our long-standing partnership with the college is critical to the future of our workforce, and we are thrilled to have that partnership officially recognized with the naming of the Lockheed Martin Fabrication Lab,” Kim Howard, vice president of F-16 production operations at Lockheed Martin, said in the release. “In this classroom, students learn foundational aviation skills and Lockheed Martin apprentices complete their certification exams, so the name fits perfectly with our focus on helping these students get the tools and experience they need to have successful careers in the industry, hopefully at Lockheed Martin.”