OKLAHOMA CITY, OK (KSWO) – Duncan Public Schools and Great Plains Technology Center are two of the twenty-four organizations were recently awarded Aerospace and Aviation Education Program grants or contracts totaling over $218,000 from the Oklahoma Aeronautics Commission (OAC). The funds will be used to expose more school-aged children in Oklahoma to STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) careers, particularly those in aerospace and aviation.
"Aerospace is our second-largest industry. To ensure the viability of the industry and organizations like Tinker Air Force Base and Boeing, we must have a skilled and competent workforce. The Oklahoma Aeronautics Commission's aerospace and aviation education program serves this objective in a very meaningful way," said Governor Mary Fallin.
Director of Aeronautics Vic Bird said aerospace is one of the state's top five industry ecosystems and is responsible for more than 120,000 direct jobs statewide.
"I don't think there is anything we do as a state aviation agency that is more important than aviation and aerospace education. This is an investment in our state, our national security, and the world's safest aviation system," Bird said.
The program, which has been awarding aviation education grants for over 30 years, is part of the OAC mission to encourage and promote aviation throughout the state of Oklahoma. Recognized nationally as having one of the most robust aviation education programs among state aviation agencies, OAC has provided nearly $1.6 million in education funding within the last 10 years alone, including more than $235,000 this year.