The Southwestern Ohio Council for Higher Education is taking over Wright State University’s Aerospace Professional Development Center and a prominent area leader is moving too.
Along with the aerospace center, SOCHE hired Cassie Barlow, who started at the organization on July 5. Barlow is a retired Air Force colonel and former commander at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base.
The aerospace professional development center opened in 2015, according to Wright State’s website for it. The center serves aerospace and defense employees looking to advance their careers as well as recent college graduates, workers interested in aerospace and high school grads interested in the fields of science, technology, engineering and math, according to the website.
Barlow said the move had nothing to do with Wright State’s recent financial troubles but had more to do with expanding opportunities. Moving from WSU to SOCHE will allow the center to work with more colleges and students across the region, officials said.
“We of course want to sustain what we have but of course we want to grow,” Barlow said. “At the end of the day, this is about economic growth.”
The center has a $200,000 budget, said Sean Creighton, SOCHE president. Barlow brings around 120 companies she has worked with to SOCHE, Creighton said.
Creighton said SOCHE will make sure the center is able to “continually work closely” with the organizations Barlow worked with while the center was stationed at WSU.
“It seemed like a good move to move it out from under Wright State’s umbrella,” Creighton said. “We’re really excited about that opportunity. It fits well with SOCHE and with higher ed’s overall mission.”
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