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Clark State Prepared to Develop Workforce for Advanced Air Mobility Industry as National Forum Convenes in Springfield This Week

Clark State Prepared to Develop Workforce for Advanced Air Mobility Industry as National Forum Convenes in Springfield This Week

August 22, 2022

The National Advanced Air Mobility Industry Forum will be held at Clark State College’s Hollenbeck Bayley Creative Arts and Conference Center (HBC) in Springfield.

The event, sponsored by Clark State, the Dayton Development Coalition (DDC), the city of Springfield, AWERX Agility Prime partners, JobsOhio, and the Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) will take place on August 22 and 23.

Dr. Jo Alice Blondin, president of Clark State, said predictions and forecasts about the future of work are omnipresent in the news: stories of “flying cars” and self-driving trucks are frequent, along with virtual reality, the need for cybersecurity, and artificial intelligence.

“These concepts are not just stories in the news from places far away from the Miami Valley: these technologies have been part of this region’s innovation for decades,” she said. “Our proximity to Wright Patterson Air Force Base and the Springfield Airport and Air National Guard Base allows for this technology to transfer into commercial and individual use, and the Electric Vertical Take-Off and Landing (eVTOL) aircraft are being developed and resourced at the Springfield Airport.”

Blondin said Clark State will play a role in this futuristic workforce, whether through manufacturing or training technicians.

“We are pleased to be a sponsor of the National Advanced Air Mobility Industry Forum, and certainly recognize that it will take multiple higher education and industry partners to ensure the growth of this emerging industry,” she said. “Clark State stands at the ready to respond to these collaborative opportunities.”

Tom Franzen, Springfield’s director of economic development and assistant city manager, said the Springfield Beckley airport which serves as an aerospace complex consisting of a general aviation airport, a testing location for the development of air mobility technology, an unmanned aircraft systems flight range and a commercial business park, will also support manufacturers and operators of eVTOLs.

In addition to the economic development, Franzen says preparing and educating the workforce is also vital to the success of AAM. He said there are specific educational requirements with eVTOLs such as manufacturing or maintenance, and the software and hardware that will power the systems.

“Clark State was a very early supporter at the airport and the ongoing curriculum development related to the jobs of the future,” said Franzen. “Clark State and Global Impact STEM Academy have been leading discussion about what the emerging workforce needs will be for the eVTOL industry.”

Franzen says the goal is to continue to support the development of AAM in the state of Ohio and the country, and to support the activities within Air Force research labs and NASA.

“This third evolution of flight is happening right where it should be,” he said. “In Ohio.”

The AAM forum will feature exhibits and industry panel discussions at the HBC. The second day will include AAM activities at the Springfield-Beckley Municipal Airport and the early morning groundbreaking for the National Advanced Air Mobility Center of Excellence at the Springfield-Beckley Municipal Airport.

“Clark State is honored to be a sponsor of this future-focused conference,” said Blondin. “We look forward to creating and aligning programs that align with the workforce needed to establish Springfield as a major eVTOL hub.”

Media Contact

Crystal Jones Vice President of Marketing, Diversity and Community Impact

937.328.6145 jonesc@clarkstate.edu