SpaceTEC® Partners, Inc. (SPI) was formed as a Florida non—profit corporation in 2009 to coordinate the activities of SpaceTEC®, the National Science Foundation (NSF) National Resource Center (NRC) for Aerospace Technical Education. Initially chartered as a “Center of Excellence” following the award of a grant from NSF’s Advanced Technological Education (ATE) program to Brevard Community College (now Eastern Florida State College), SpaceTEC® has since created a national consortium of accredited community and technical colleges providing aerospace technology or related academic degree programs, workforce development and skills training for the benefit of students desiring careers in aerospace; and incumbent technicians employed by companies operating in the communities of member institutions (i.e., the Consortium).
The mission of SPI is to provide an infrastructure to facilitate and nurture colleges committed to addressing emerging aerospace technologies by producing the resources necessary to support and enable the Consortium and its industry base. In addition, the Center sponsors professional development activities for faculty and staff such as workshops, clinics, and conferences/symposia for shared information exchange, while serving as a clearinghouse of information and contacts in selected technology areas.
The NRC also acquires and develops facilities, equipment and information management systems required to support STEM technician national skills credentialing. It is through these credentialing activities that SPI offers the Certified Aerospace Technician™ family of performance-based credentials. Sanctioned by the FAA Office of Commercial Space and recommended for college credit by the American Council on Education (ACE), the Certified Aerospace Technician™ family is the nation’s only independent third—party performance—based technical credential for aerospace technicians. The SpaceTEC® credential is preferred by practitioners and employers alike as a valid indicator of technician functional capabilities and core skills in competencies ranging from Safety in the Aerospace Workplace, Applied Mechanics, Basic Electricity, Materials and Processes, and Tests and Measurements to specialty concentrations in the fields of Space Vehicle Processing, Aerospace Manufacturing, and Composites.
Beginning in 2010 SPI has joined with corporations that are world leaders in the design, development, and installation of technical training systems supporting military, industrial, and educational groups in areas that reach beyond aerospace to create CertTEC® (Certifying Technical Employee Competence) as a means to provide web-based delivery of performance-based testing in three important disciplines derived from the core skills common to so many technologies: Basic Electricity & Electronics, Mechanical Assembly, and Composites.
In addition to performance—based certifications, SPI provides custom knowledge assessments, skills— based workshops, and preparatory readiness courses for technicians who perform “hands—on” operations requiring competencies in a variety of technical disciplines. SPI’s subject matter experts are working to develop new certifications in several related areas of emerging interest, including those for Systems Technicians and Facilities Technicians, both of which will feature hands—on assessments of relevant skills and competencies.
Whether providing skills enhancement, professional development for existing workers, gearing up for demanding operations requiring proven competencies in technical disciplines, or assisting in identifying career pathways for changing needs, SPI offers a proven process of objective, performance—based evaluations across a broad spectrum of high technology areas in the core capabilities most employers want, with strong emphasis on the fundamentals of Systems Thinking and Troubleshooting. When needs arise for specialized competencies requiring demonstrated skills in hands—on work, SPI can assist in providing the third—party credentialing processes required to qualify your technical workforce. SPI takes pride in leading the way for professionalizing technicians by “Certifying what you know AND what you can do”™.