Gov. Chris Gregoire today is scheduled to sign a House bill that would establish an aerospace training student loan program administered by the HECB. The Senate passed the legislation on Wednesday.
Under ESHB 1846, students attending the Washington Aerospace Training and Research Center in Everett and the soon-to-open Spokane Aerospace Technology Center will be eligible for student loans under the program, which will be designed in consultation with representatives of the aerospace industry, workers and aerospace training or educational programs.
The loan program will be self-sustaining and will operate on money received by the HECB, including repayments by loan recipients.
Prior to the Senate’s 47-member vote in the favor of the bill, Senate Majority Floor Leader Tracey Eide of Federal Way said the legislation will help the state meet demand for trained aerospace workers, caused in part by the aging of the existing workforce. The timing of the legislation is perfect because of the Boeing Co.’s recent winning of a contract to build a new Air Force tanker aircraft, she said.
The prime sponsor of the bill was Rep. Deb Eddy of Kirkland.