May 2005 
Volume 04, Issue 1 
Main Feature

Adding up to new opportunities

Ken KisslingFor many people, using advanced mathematics is a complicated, daunting task. But Ken Kissling wants more of it.

Kissling, a Boeing 767 Wings manufacturing engineer in Everett, Wash., learned from his manager of a need for qualified structures engineers. Encouraged by what he heard about the job, Kissling applied for and accepted a position as a structures engineer. He then enrolled in a 32-hour structures course offered through a grant provided by the Ed Wells Initiative/Society of Professional Engineering Employees in Aerospace–Boeing Partnership. This joint program provides opportunities for SPEEA-represented employees to improve their technical skills through specialized opportunities in training and education, career development and skill utilization.

"I wanted a job that was more mathematically rigorous," Kissling said. "My new job involves tasks that are more in line with my desired level of difficulty, underscoring my passion to become an engineer in the first place. I can see myself in this job for the long term."

Kissling described the program as a "good overview of all the necessary engineering stress checks" and said it provided a valuable session on documentation. It was also a great way for him to learn from and interact with lead engineers in the company, he said.

"It's great that Boeing looks within their workforce first for the skills needed in the future before going outside the company," Kissling said.

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