Ali Alqubtan, a rising senior at Marysville Pilchuck High School, who is also a running start student at Everett Community College, credits his brother for inspiring him to join the Seattle Goodwill Youth Aerospace program.
“My brother knows that my dream company has always been Boeing,” says Alqubtan. “He joined the Goodwill program about five years ago and told me that they did a lot of work related to aerospace, and that there would be a lot of opportunities. I knew this was the next step I had to take in order to get ready for my career.”
Boeing has awarded almost $1M in grants to Goodwill’s Youth Aerospace Program since 2013, supporting the development, launch and expansion of the program in both Snohomish and King Counties.
Recently, Boeing’s Workforce Development team partnered with the Youth Aerospace Program to host a panel discussion on aerospace career pathways. “Connecting local students with professionals from Boeing is one of the most rewarding parts of our work, said Justin McCaffree with Boeing Workforce Development. “Events like this one help students better understand how they can turn their skills and interests into a career.”
About 20 high school students dialed in from across the Puget Sound region. Several Boeing employees joined the call as panelists; each shared information about their unique career pathways and offered advice and guidance for students interested in pursuing careers in aerospace.
Kristina Young was one of the Boeing employee panelists.
Young has been a Boeing employee for 12 years and is an Employee Development Specialist with the Foundational Training Center in Renton, Washington.
“I have a lot of experience talking with youth. For me, it’s really just about giving back from my wealth of experiences and helping others to understand various career paths at Boeing,” says Young passionately.
Young talked to the students about aerospace manufacturing programs offered at local high schools and community and technical colleges , and explained how those skills developed in these programs can help them hone in on what interests them, and prepare them for a rewarding career.
“I wish I had known about programs like these when I was growing up. They present you with so many cool opportunities,” Young added.
Ali learned riveting and welding skills through his Core Plus Aerospace program at school. During the panel he became aware of the many different career pathways available to him based upon the skills he has learned in school.
Core Plus is a two-year high school manufacturing curriculum, developed in 2015 in partnership with Boeing, which prepares students for high-demand jobs through hands-on learning. Today, it is offered at more than 40 high schools and skill centers across Washington. Learn more at coreplusaerospace.org.
“My favorite part of the meeting is when each of the employees shared their advice on what to do and what the next steps are,” said Alqubtan enthusiastically. “And when I asked a question about my resume they told me everything I needed to know.”
For more information on Washington's community and technical colleges offering a wide range of aerospace manufacturing programs and courses click here.