SIIT announces $2.75 M investment from Lockheed Martin, Boeing and Rockwell Collins for aviation trades training

    SASKATOON, June 25 /CNW Telbec/ - The Saskatchewan Indian Institute of
Technologies (SIIT) today announced that leading global aerospace and defence
companies Lockheed Martin, The Boeing Company and Rockwell Collins have
invested a total of US$2.75 million to support development of SIIT's aviation
trades training.
    With these significant contributions, the three companies are supporting
development of a training program that will help build the aircraft
maintenance and other aviation trades workforce in Saskatchewan and Canada,
and will develop skills and employment opportunities for First Nation youth.
    "I am deeply appreciative of the contributions made by Boeing, Lockheed
Martin and Rockwell Collins," said SIIT President Randell Morris. "These
companies understand that First Nation youth are our workforce of the future.
The companies have become more than investors. They are our partners and will
serve as technical advisors as the project develops."
    Lockheed Martin contributed US$1.5M, Boeing contributed US$750,000 and
Rockwell Collins invested US$500,000. Concerned with the upcoming mass
retirements that will affect the global aviation industry, these companies
have chosen to invest in developing young Aboriginal Canadians as an integral
part of the next-generation workforce.
    The investments are part of Canada's Industrial and Regional Benefits
(IRB) Policy. The IRB Policy ensures that prime contractors provide long-term
industrial benefits to Canadian industry and post-secondary institutions at a
level similar in value to the amount of the awarded contract. Lockheed
Martin's investment is related to Canada's purchase of C-130J tactical lift
transport aircraft. The Boeing IRB is associated with Canada's purchase of
four new C-17 strategic lift transport aircraft. The IRB contribution by
Rockwell Collins is related to its provision of state-of-the-art Full-Flight
and Part-Task simulators to the Canadian Maritime Helicopter Program.
    "These investments are further proof that our Canada First procurement
strategy is generating significant benefits for Canadian industries and
post-secondary institutions," said the Honourable Jim Prentice, Minister of
Industry. "It's about new money being injected into the economy, and today we
see how some of those resources benefit innovative academic programs such as
the Aerospace Maintenance Engineering training program at the Saskatchewan
Indian Institute of Technologies."

    Companies help to meet critical need for skilled aviation workers

    "Lockheed Martin is proud to support a program such as the Aerospace
Maintenance Engineering training program, one that will support the growing
needs of the local and national aerospace industries for AME technicians,"
said Jack Crisler, International Vice-President, Business Development, Air
Mobility for Lockheed Martin. "Lockheed Martin believes in contributing to
education, and we are looking at ways to provide training opportunities for
AME students so they can gain first-hand knowledge of support and maintenance
for Lockheed Martin products."
    "For nearly 90 years, The Boeing Company has enjoyed a strong
relationship with Canada," said Roger Schallom, manager of industrial
participation programs in Canada for Boeing. "Boeing's support to SIIT
continues our long-standing commitment to strengthen the Canadian aerospace
industry and our focus on investing in the workforce of tomorrow."
    "These investments in SIIT represent the beginning of a long-term
partnership with Canada's Aboriginal people as a vital part of one of the
world's leading aerospace countries," stated Kevin Ferguson, General Manager
of Rockwell Collins Canada. "This investment is a direct result of SIIT's
impressive business plan that addresses a critical skilled workforce demand."
    The resources garnered from companies through the IRB process are being
channeled to "start up" activities, including the establishment of a high
school aircraft maintenance program that will be offered with full
accreditation through Mt. Royal High School; a prep program; and the diploma
Aerospace Maintenance Engineering (AME) Category M program. Resources are also
dedicated to the purchase of equipment and the creation of a new training
site. Expected to start in 2009, the AME program will be open to First Nation
and non-First Nation students.
    SIIT will leverage these resources with other potential investments. In
general, SIIT has ramped up its IRB work, stimulated by the fact that Canada
will invest over $30B in new defence equipment. In 2005, Boeing invested
approximately $1 million to upgrade the Institute's computers and technology,
and to provide database management training from Washington University. This
donation was the first Boeing had made to a post-secondary institution in
    "This joint funding strongly supports Saskatchewan's aviation industry,
and SIIT's participation links highly skilled First Nation people with
rewarding jobs," Saskatchewan Enterprise and Innovation Minister Lyle Stewart
said. "The partnership of Rockwell Collins, Boeing, and Lockheed Martin helps
ensure that this training diversifies our technical skills base, attracts
investment to the province, and serves as an excellent example of what we can
achieve together."
    "The opportunities the SIIT program will offer Saskatchewan young people
are more than jobs, they are careers in aviation trades and technologies,"
said Janet Keim, President of the Saskatchewan Aviation Council. "The
graduates will be able to find careers not only in northern and southern
Saskatchewan but anywhere in Canada and beyond."

    About the Companies

    Headquartered in Bethesda, MD, Lockheed Martin employs about 140,000
people worldwide and is principally engaged in the research, design,
development, manufacture, integration and sustainment of advanced technology
systems, products and services. The Corporation reported 2007 sales of
$41.9 billion.

    Boeing is the world's leading aerospace company and the largest
manufacturer of commercial jetliners and military aircraft combined.
Additionally, Boeing designs and manufactures rotorcraft, electronic and
defense systems, missiles, satellites, launch vehicles and advanced
information and communication systems. As a major service provider to NASA,
Boeing operates the Space Shuttle and International Space Station. The company
also provides numerous military and commercial airline support services.
Boeing has customers in more than 90 countries around the world and is one of
the largest U.S. exporters in terms of sales. Headquartered in Chicago, Boeing
employs more than 160,000 people across the United States and in 70 countries.
Total company revenues for 2007 were $66.4

    Rockwell Collins (NYSE:   COL) is a pioneer in the development and
deployment of innovative communication and aviation electronics solutions for
both commercial and government applications. Our expertise in flight deck
avionics, cabin electronics, mission communications and information management
is strengthened by 19,000 employees, and a global service and support network
that crosses 27 countries.

    About SIIT

    The Saskatchewan Indian Institute of Technologies (SIIT) has been in
existence since 1976 and is Canada's largest First Nation-controlled and
governed technical institute. SIIT serves First Nation young adults by
providing vocational and technical employment programming, as well as
educational services for continued career growth. SIIT is an educational
institution of the Federation of Saskatchewan Indian Nations (FSIN) and is
governed by a Board comprised of Senators, Saskatchewan Tribal Council
appointees and an FSIN executive member.

For further information:

For further information: Mr. Randell Morris, Saskatchewan Indian
Institute of Technologies, (306) 244-4444; Kathie Lynas, Hill and Knowlton
Canada, (613) 850-7859,; For Lockheed Martin: Keelan
Green, Thornley Fallis Communications, (613) 220-2016; For The Boeing Company:
Martin Sampson, Fleishman-Hillard Canada, (613) 238 -2090 x 351,; Amy Horton, The Boeing Company, (314) 233-4368,; For Rockwell Collins: Pam Tvrdy, (319) 295-0591

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