Local workforce to become top priority for SpaceX site

Thursday, August 7, 2014 - 9:17am

Preparing our local workforce has become a top priority now that the Valley will be home to the new SpaceX launch site, Na'Tassia Finley has more on how local colleges are training their students to be prepared.

It'll be outsiders that bring it in, but insiders or locals that will play a big part in getting it going. With SpaceX setting up operations at Boca Chica Beach, almost immediate man power will  be needed to build the new space port.

Workforce Solutions Cameron County and local schools, like TSC here in Brownsville will be instrumental in especially the beginning stages, Workforce Solutions Director Pat Hobbs stated, "That college and TSC in Harlingen are going to be the two main providers of technician level skills and trade skills that will be needed in large numbers to build the facility."

Since even before we officially landed the big business, talks were underway about potentially preparing our future workforce so that the space port company doesn't have to hire outside workers to take the jobs.

Pat Hobbs, "Welders, pipe fitters, plumbers, electricians, concrete masons all of those types of skilled trades."

Hobbs says strategic planning is the key since things will likely move fast, "Once we know the skill sets and what they need for their workers, then we can go to the colleges and say build a curriculum to build this product and have it ready by the time they need the workers. I've heard SpaceX will be firing a rocket in two years, so that doesn't give us a lot of time."

SpaceX officials are expected back in the Valley next month. It's likely that at that time they'll discuss exact  curriculum needs, needed from the technical and community college.

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