January 1, 2012

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Flying High

Utah’s Advanced Composites Industry Finds its Wings

Gaylen Webb

January 1, 2012

The Davis Applied Technology College (DATC) offers one of the most robust advanced composites training programs in the state. The school provides training for workers from Janicki, ATK, Hexcel, ITT, Hill AFB and a myriad of smaller composites companies. Currently 100 students are enrolled in the DATC’s composites program, according to Kent Crookston, one of the program’s instructors.

He notes that Janicki’s first local hire was a student from the DATC’s composites program. Meanwhile, every new employee hired at ATK’s new Commercial Center of Excellence facility will be trained at the DATC. “We will be holding training classes every week for the next five to six months,” he says.

Crookston cites three reasons why advanced composites companies are choosing to locate in Utah: the training, the workforce and a good economic environment that helps the companies expand.

Steven R. Rodgers, an international past president of the Society for the Advancement of Material and Process Engineering (SAMPE), says many people in the composites industry now look at Utah as the center of development—the go-to place for the composites industry. This, he says, is due in part to the state’s rich advanced composites history. “We are becoming, if not a model, certainly recognized as a state that is doing things right in the composites industry.”

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