UTEP Partners with Lockheed Martin to Create a First-Ever Opportunity For Students
LUCERO FIERRO | November 14, 2018
Focused on the growth and development of future professionals, The University of Texas at El Paso has become the first university in the world to partner with multinational defense and aerospace company Lockheed Martin to create a unique initiative for students known as the Shainin RedX Apprentice Certification Program.
After more than 10 years of partnership, both UTEP and Lockheed Martin agreed to embark upon this one-of-a-kind program that follows science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) concepts and is focused on student achievements and gender & ethnic diversity.
The program selected its first cohort in the spring of 2017 consisting of six students from the College of Engineering. These students have spent 12 months working alongside Lockheed Martin mentors in order to acquire a competitive edge in the workplace and become RedX experts.
“Students start working online on specific projects for Lockheed Martin prior to attending an academy in either Fort Worth or Georgia for a practice-based learning experience,” Oscar Salcedo, program coordinator, said. “Students will become certified RedX experts and will be ready to start working with the company upon graduation”.
The program exposes students to the Shainin RedX initiative while placing them on teams that focus on finding the root cause and the suggested remedy for undesired behavior, performance and/or failures associated with aircrafts and their components. Students will also be introduced to RedX methodology through formal and informal training opportunities and gain experience in order to become the proficient engineers Lockheed Martin seeks to hire.
Being able to work on high-impact projects such as the ones Lockheed Martin develops provides high-impact opportunities for UTEP engineering students. The RedX program grants them access to real data in order to identify root causes for complex problems and helps them gain apprenticeship certification.
“Participation in initiatives like this are awesome opportunities to grow not only on a professional level but also personally in order to become an effective team player and communicator,” said Francisco Martinez, a UTEP alumnus and QA Engineer at Lockheed Martin.
Additionally, because Lockheed Martin is a U.S. government contractor, the use of RedX tools and methods enables students to access training on how to properly handle controlled information in compliance with the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR) and Export Administration Regulations (EAR).
Students are expected to commit to a refining experience that will not only allow them to become familiar with concepts involving aircrafts but also incorporate the newest and latest engineering technologies on the market to their practice. For industrial engineering student Jaquelin Govea, having participated in the Shainin RedX program provided her with a vital professional experience and knowledge.
“Lockheed Martin is a great company to work for. They provide you with unforgettable experiences both in and outside their facility. Working along side helpful and genuine people was an opportunity of a lifetime,” Govea said. “This company strives for greatness and is one of the best in the world, making anyone feel lucky to be a part of their mission toward success.”
UTEP and Lockheed Martin originally targeted students to enter the Shainin RedX program during their sophomore year to fully engage with the company, where they would work on different projects and get involved with several paid internship opportunities. However, based on interest from UTEP across all undergraduate and graduate levels, Lockheed Martin decided to include the best talent, regardless of their classification.
“UTEP was the perfect partner for a talent initiative like this. The students embraced this opportunity with grateful hearts and spirit and were committed to work with Lockheed Martin, even in the face of full academic and work schedules. The result was six top UTEP talents, who became honed even more sharply, and in a short time were able to deliver unarguable and validated savings to the F-35 and C-130 aircraft programs,” said Chris Colaw, senior manager for quality and mission success at Lockheed Martin.
Students who desire to participate in the Shainin RedX program must be U.S. citizens, have a minimum of a 3.0 grade point average (GPA) and be willing to relocate.