Sept. 10, 2018

IACMI – The Composites Institute, in partnership with Composites One, and the Closed Mold Alliance welcomed more than 200 attendees to Fly Away with Composites, an aerospace and recreation sports-focused composites training workshop, hosted at Davis Technical College in Clearfeld, UT.

Utah Lt. Governor Spencer J. Cox joined the workshop and spoke about the importance of the composites industry to the workforce development initiatives in Utah. He underscored the importance of starting exposure to composites opportunities at the middle and high school levels so that students have awareness of career path options. Utah has one of the highest concentrations of advanced materials companies in the nation, employing more than 10,000 workers. Jeff Edwards, executive director for IACMI’s strategic partner, Utah Advanced Materials and Manufacturing Initiative (UAMMI), serves as a thought-leader within the national composites ecosystem and was instrumental in the creation of the workshop. Additionally, Laura Bogusch, general manager of Boeing Salt Lake, spoke to attendees about her journey with Boeing and her composites experiences that allowed her to grow to be the leader she is today.

Fly Away with Composites is the latest in the 2018 Closed Mold Alliance Training Workshop series, aimed at training composites technicians and those interested in entering the composites workforce in practices used in the industry as well as insight into the future of the composites industry. This workshop was the first to include high school students in a separate student and parent track, in addition to the traditional content for attendees working in the field.

Davis Technical College, which has one of the only composites technical programs in the United States, hosted the workshop, allowing attendees to better understand the capabilities of the composites program. Parents in attendance provided very positive feedback on the long term technical career opportunities and skilled trade career pathways presented during the event.

Throughout the workshop, attendees in the student and traditional tracks had the opportunity to learn from presentations and demonstrations lead by leaders in the composites industry. Additionally, participants gained hands-on training experience through participating in collaborative demonstrations. Workshop highlights included demonstrations and presentations on topics including:

  • thermoplastics
  • autoclave and out-of-autoclave prepreg curing processes
  • carbon fiber
  • 3D printing
  • vacuum infusion processes
  • high-temperature tooling
  • maintenance techniques
  • repair and overhaul (MRO)
  • thermoforming

“Fly Away with Composites gave our workshop series the unique opportunity to engage students and workshop attendees with composites training and connections in a region supporting and impacting the national growth of the composites workforce,” said Joannie Harmon Heath, IACMI’s Workforce Manager. “It is exciting to be able to offer initial composites experiences for individuals, knowing that they can continue their advanced manufacturing education in their hometown.”

Learn more about the Closed Mold Alliance workshops and the next November 2018 workshop in Dayton, Ohio at iacmi.org/closed-mold-alliance-workshops.