Space Cyber and Supply Talent Development Center

May 24, 2021 Torrance, CA

El Camino College has joined with Red Rocks Community College near Denver to announce a first-in-the-nation community college collaboration to create the “Space, Cyber & Supply Talent Development Center” (SCSTDC). The partnership bridges two different space hubs and maximizes opportunities for partnerships with stakeholders that share economic and workforce development goals in STEM and the aerospace industry. Both colleges have shown strong results in aligning classes with jobs and helping people obtain workplace relevant experience. 

El Camino College has helped over 6,600 people secure workforce training and apprenticeships leading to in-demand, high-wage jobs at over 250 aerospace companies. El Camino is a leader in the California Apprenticeship Initiative through its aerospace technician apprenticeship program, which is designed to help employers sponsor apprentices. El Camino is also a partner in UCLA’s Smart Manufacturing Institute to advance a new workforce development model for education and training. El Camino is part of CASCADE (California Advanced Supply Chain Analysis & Diversification Effort), the Governor’s Office initiative focusing on the cybersecurity resiliency of California’s defense supply chain. 

Red Rocks Community College is the nation’s leading two-year institution on the cybersecurity front, with designation from the National Security Agency (NSA) and the US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) as a Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense, their cybersecurity-related Bachelor of Applied Science degree program, and their regional OSHA training center that serves six states and is authorized by the US Department of Labor. 

“By aligning the efforts of Red Rocks and El Camino, we will be able to work together to support the robust aerospace sectors in each of our respective regions. I hope the SCSTDC becomes a juggernaut of collaboration for the space industry and most importantly helps people who are unemployed and looking for new opportunities,” said Dena P. Maloney, Ed.D., President of El Camino College, the hometown community college to the Los Angeles Air Force Base, which houses the headquarters of the US Space Force’s Space and Missile Systems Center. 

Recently, a working group of more than 120 people from across the federal government, industry, and academia met to assess the current health of the space industry. Their recommendations were contained in the “State of the Space Industrial Base 2020” summary report, which included insights and recommendations for the industry including the importance of public private partnerships. The report also called for the future of a STEM workforce, stating that “talent, vision and education will drive the future of the US space industrial base” and that industry must be more proactive “in working across the US education system to develop the needed STEM talent.” 

“At Red Rocks, we have the first registered apprenticeship in cybersecurity in the state of Colorado through Northrop Grumman and look to bring that expertise to our collaboration with El Camino. We share an urgency to provide workplace-relevant experience so that students are prepared for new jobs that will ultimately support our economic recovery,” said Dr. Michele Haney, President of Red Rocks Community College located in central Colorado, immediately west of Denver and about 60 miles north-northwest of Colorado Springs, the home of the US Air Force Academy and Peterson Air Force Base, the provisional headquarters for US Space Force. 

In announcing the Space, Cyber & Supply Talent Development Center, the colleges set three major goals: 

  • Establish a new economic and workforce development educational effort focused on each respective institution’s strengths in aerospace, space, cybersecurity, and supply chain training
  • Share specific company connections to further expand opportunities and placements
  • Reciprocity in instruction and shared best practices 

“America’s leadership in space is vitally important to the nation’s future and critically depends on growing our aerospace workforce, with the needed STEM skills. Community colleges play an important role in talent development and jobs bridge, particularly in aerospace hubs such as Colorado and Southern California. It is important for the Federal government and the Congress to invest in education and job training to ensure our continued leadership in space,” said Lt. Gen. (Ret.) Michael A. Hamel, a former member of the Red Rocks Community College Foundation Board of Directors and the former Commander of the Air Force Space and Missile Systems Center. “By working together, Red Rocks and El Camino are advancing an ambitious plan that could serve as a national model.”