HOUSTON, Texas – At the hub of the Houston Spaceport, the San Jacinto College EDGE Center is equipping students with the hands-on training they need to build the next phase of aerospace history. The College marked the grand opening of the EDGE Center Friday, Oct. 1, with elected officials, community members, faculty, and staff.
San Jac students began using the new facility in 2020, however, the grand opening event was delayed due to restrictions with COVID-19.
“With this facility, we will inspire, innovate, and train the talent needed at the Houston Spaceport,” said Dr. Brenda Hellyer, Chancellor. “Our industry partners developed the program and defined the skills needed for these evolving careers. You can feel the passion and excitement as you walk through the training area.”
The center offers aerospace training and a pathway to exciting careers in the aerospace industry. San Jacinto College is the official education training partner for the Houston Spaceport at Ellington Airport.
“This facility is at the epicenter of the Houston Spaceport,” said Mario Diaz, director of aviation, Houston Airport System. “This is where the next chapter of the rivalry to space will be written by the minds and hands of Houstonians for generations to come. The talent who will learn how to build towards the future of space exploration starts right here at the EDGE Center.”
The programs offered through the EDGE Center are aerospace structure technician, aerospace electrical technician, composite technician, industrial automation technician, and aerospace quality technician. The center also offers a drone program preparing individuals for FAA certifications as well as a drone flight class and a drone build class.
Steve Altemus, president and CEO of Intuitive Machines, has seen several of the program’s first graduates come to work for his company as they develop the next lunar lander. One of those students, Cyrus Shy went from intern to full-time technician in the span of less than a year.
“The impact this program and Intuitive Machines has had on my life has been overwhelmingly incredible,” said Shy. “It has changed the trajectory of my life. I work for a company that care about each other and work toward a common goal.”
Eventually, when all 450 acres at Ellington Airport available to the Houston Spaceport are fully developed, it will become a focal point in the region for aerospace research, manufacturing, and commercial space operations.
To learn more about the EDGE Center, visit www.sanjac.edu/edge-center-aerospace.
About San Jacinto College
Surrounded by monuments of history, evolving industries, maritime enterprises of today, and the space age of tomorrow, San Jacinto College has served the people of East Harris County, Texas, since 1961. San Jacinto College is among the top 10 community colleges in the nation as designated by the Aspen Institute for Community College Excellence, and was named an Achieving the Dream Leader College of Distinction in 2020. The College serves approximately 45,000 credit and non-credit students annually, and offers more than 200 degrees and certificates across eight major areas of study that put students on a path to transfer to four-year institutions or enter the workforce. San Jacinto College’s impact on the region totals $1.3 billion in added income, which supports 13,044 jobs. The College is fiscally sound, holding bond ratings of AA and Aa2 by Standard & Poor’s and Moody’s.
Front row: Teri Zamora, vice chancellor fiscal affairs, San Jacinto College; Mario Diaz, director of aviation, Houston Airport System; Marie Flickinger, chair, San Jacinto College Board of Trustees; Sandra Ramirez, vice chancellor, human resources/ organizational talent, San Jacinto College; Laurel Williamson, deputy chancellor/president, San Jacinto College; Sarah Janes, associate vice chancellor, continuing and professional development, San Jacinto College; Cyrus Shy, Intuitive Machines; Dr. Brenda Hellyer, Chancellor, San Jacinto College; Allatia Harris, vice chancellor, strategic initiatives, San Jacinto College; Christine DiCosimo, office of U.S. Rep. Briscoe Cain; Sen. Larry Taylor; provost, Aaron Knight, San Jacinto College South Campus; and Van Wigginton, San Jacinto College Central Campus.
Back row: Teri Crawford, vice chancellor, external relations/executive director, San Jacinto College Foundation; Steve Altemus, president and CEO, Intuitive Machines; Bob Mitchell, president, Bay Area Houston Economic Partnership; Rob Stanicic, chief technology innovations, San Jacinto College; Rick Guerrero, San Jacinto College Foundation Board treasurer; Alexander Okwonna, provost, San Jacinto College North Campus; Dylan Menard, office of U.S. Rep. Briscoe Cain; Dan Mims, San Jacinto College Board of Trustees; and Beverly Ferguson, office of Rep. Brian Babin.
From left to right: Ken Tidwell, dean, workforce development, San Jacinto College; Craig Mitchell, Page Southerland Page Architects; David Sample, manager, facilities operations; Cynthia Navarro, senior administrative assistant, EDGE Center, San Jacinto College; Scott Gernander; dean, administration, San Jacinto College; Sarah Janes, associate vice chancellor, continuing and professional development, San Jacinto College; Jerelyn Glenn, director, CPD computer/IT training, San Jacinto College; Janice Sullivan, dean, community education, San Jacinto College; Clint Harris, project coordinator, aerospace academy, San Jacinto College; Cyrus Shy, Intuitive Machines; Janis Fowler, director, CPD aerospace education and workforce development.