Northrop Grumman, Cerritos College partner for workforce training

Cerritos College recently placed 16 graduates at Northrop Grumman as part of the workforce development program.

Cerritos College (Norwalk, Calif.) has announced that 16 of its composites students have been offered full-time jobs by Northrop Grumman Corp. (Los Angeles, Calif.). This partnership was developed as an industry collaboration between Cerritos College Manufacturing Technology Program and Northrop Grumman.

In fall 2007, Cerritos College and Northrop Grumman Integrated Systems sector created a training initiative to prepare students for careers as composites mechanics at the company’s El Segundo Manufacturing Center. Orville Dothage, a training manager for Northrop Grumman, selected the Cerritos College composites classes as an alternative way to meet the company’s training requirements for new hires in composites. Under this cooperative venture, Northrop Grumman provided guidance and reviewed course materials for Cerritos College to assure the minimum requirements for a composites mechanic are met. Collaboration between Northrop Grumman and Cerritos College Composites Center has been reoccurring since 1985.

The Cerritos College Composites Certificate program is recognized by Northrop Grumman and accepted as certification in composite fabrication. It provides prospective candidates with the necessary experience to seek employment with Northrop Grumman or other aerospace companies. When hired, candidates can start working immediately without the customary four to five weeks of training in the Advanced Production Training Center.

“This program allows those with little to no background to become trained in the technology of composites fabrication,” said Terry Price, program chairman for the composites training classes at Cerritos College. “It will allow them to become employed and hit the shop floor running.”

Northrop Grumman’s El Segundo Manufacturing Center needs well-trained composites workers to fill positions created by rising demand for its advanced technology products and growing levels of retirement among its experienced workforce.

Prior to graduation, the students were able to tour the El Segundo facility and receive interviews from Northrop Grumman supervisors. These steps allowed for a speedy opportunity to have job applications processed.

On July 10, 2008, students of the composites fabrication class finished the “hands-on” course and received their certificates of completion. Upon their successful completion, Northrop Grumman interviewed and extended job offers to 16 students.

The Composites Training Center (CTC) at Cerritos College was launched in 1985 as a result of the growing need for trained workers for aerospace defense contractors and other high-profile products. For further information about composites training, contact the Plastics/Composites program at 562-860-2451 ext. 2927.