New Partnership Leads to New Opportunities

Everyone wants a good paying job, but do you have the competitive advantage to make it happen? A new partnership between Tulsa Tech and NORDAM helps students achieve more sooner, setting them up for a rewarding career with the Tulsa-based company. In August, the first group of 24 students started in the Aerospace Structures Program at the Riverside Campus.

Tulsa Mayor GT Bynum, Nordam's Bailey Sigfried & Tulsa Tech's Dr. Steve Tiger

The first class is a mix of high school and adult students. Some are learning about aircraft repair and maintenance for the first time, but for Johnny Carrigan, it’s a return to his roots. Carrigan is a retired Airmen First Class and is in the Aerospace Structures Program to refresh his skills, thanks to his friends in the military.

“A friend of mine introduced me to a member at NORDAM as part of the partnership with Tulsa Tech,” Carrigan said. “The partnership between Tulsa Tech and NORDAM is a great opportunity for veterans to transition to civilian life and work for a great company.”

Graduates of the program will be able to take certification tests and top candidates will get the opportunity to work at NORDAM. Starting in January, the Aerospace Structures Program will expand to two classes with 20 students each.

This partnership helps set Tulsa Tech students up to fill a growing skills gap. An August report by the U.S. Department of Labor showed that there are more jobs for skilled workers, than workers to fill them. One of the biggest areas is aerospace where it is estimated companies will need to fill nearly 750,000 maintenance jobs over the next 20 years.

That is why programs similar to the Aerospace Structures program at Tulsa Tech are so important, providing students the opportunity to experience valuable skills for jobs that are available now.

Tulsa Mayor GT Bynum bucks a ceremonial rivet.

“This is very technical. You can’t just get anyone off the street and say ‘let’s work on this aircraft’, you need this specialized training,” Carrigan said. “My goal is to complete the program and get a job, hopefully with NORDAM, and maybe one day become an instructor to help more kids learn these skills.”

If you have a desire to learn an in-demand skill and help close the skills gap in Oklahoma, check out the programs here at Tulsa Tech. You can find a complete list of programs at or call 918-828-5000 to apply.

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