Utah economy

WSU students will gain hands-on work experience at Hill Air Force Base

HILL AIR FORCE BASE, Utah (ABC4) – Hill Air Force Base and Weber State University (WSU) are one step closer to increasing education and employment opportunities in Northern Utah. On Thursday, the two organizations signed a formal agreement that will give WSU more access to the base. The agreement aims to ensure that the base always has properly trained employees. It also aims to help graduates get high-tech jobs close to home.

“We need to have the manpower to do this work, to scale and to take it to the next level,” WSU President Dr. Brad Mortensen told ABC4. “That’s why these types of partnerships will really open up these opportunities for our students.”

Alphonso Thomas is the Director of Engineering and Technical Management for the US Air Force Support Center. He and Dr. Mortensen signed the agreement cementing the working relationship between the two organizations.

During the signing ceremony, Thomas said the nation’s security depends on air power, and air power is what Hill Air Force Base delivers.

To continue to deliver airpower to the United States, the technology and base must keep pace and evolve to become even more advanced.

Mr. Thomas said that to do this, the base needs well-trained personnel. It also needs a sufficient number of these employees to meet its needs. He said that was part of the reason this deal was important.

Essentially, the deal opens up the base at the university. Dr. Mortensen explained that it gives students “access to solve real, pressing and interesting problems that help create the security and freedom we all enjoy”.

The partnership also aims to improve the local economy. Not only by creating additional jobs as technology evolves on base, but by keeping graduates close to home. “We really hope that we can ensure that more students from our Weber State get high-tech, high-paying jobs here in northern Utah and in the aerospace defense industry,” said Dr. Mortensen.

The partnership will also allow military men and women to continue their education while stationed at the base.

Mary Cashion

The author Mary Cashion