Hawk Institute for Space Sciences Announces UAS Maintenance Training Program

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June 1, 2011

Pocomoke City, MD: Hawk Institute for Space Sciences (HISS) today announced it has launched an Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) Maintenance Training program for dislocated workers on the Lower Eastern Shore of Maryland. In partnership with the Lower Shore Workforce Alliance (LSWA), the workforce development division of Tri-County Council for the Lower Eastern Shore of Maryland, HISS is providing classroom instruction, hands on training, and job placement assistance for program participants.

The 9-week training program covers topics such as: UAS air vehicle construction and manufacturing processes, ground support equipment construction and manufacturing processes, testing and maintenance tools, technical manual and blueprint comprehension, quality control procedures and configuration management, and inspection processes and approvals. The initial class consists of 13 dislocated workers residing in Somerset, Wicomico, and Worcester counties. Additionally, priority of selection was provided to veterans who have been honorably separated from service within the past 3 years.  This program is being funded by the Workforce Investment Act (WIA) Dislocated Worker funding provided by the Maryland Department of Labor, Licensing & Regulation (DLLR).

UAS are defined as aircraft that are remotely operated by a pilot or a navigator, but without a human crew on board the aircraft. Worldwide, UAS expenditures are projected to more than double from the current annual level of $2.7B to $8.3B annually in 2015.  Unmanned Aircraft Systems are increasingly in demand for use by military, local law enforcement / first responders, homeland and border security, as well as environmental monitoring. As this capability becomes more widely used, there is a need for enhanced infrastructure and a trained workforce that supports the growing UAV fleet operations, maintenance, logistics, and data management.

Ron Bettini, CEO of the Hawk Institute, said, “UAS is currently the most dynamic growth sector within the international aerospace industry. Launching the UAS maintenance training program is one important step in establishing the Lower Eastern Shore as a hub for this expanding high tech capability. HISS, in partnership with LSWA, UMES, Maryland Hawk Corporation, Worcester and Somerset County Economic Development, and Maryland DBED, will continue to pursue local opportunities in support of pilot training, air vehicle testing, sensor experimentation, operational exercises, and maintenance services.

 “As Delmarva’s aerospace industries grow, the Lower Shore Workforce Alliance is working to create training opportunities that help local workers get those jobs,” said Milton Morris, Workforce Director. “The public/private partnership we are developing with the Hawk Institute will help satisfy the workforce demands of aerospace companies based at Wallops Island and elsewhere on the Peninsula.”

This program serves as one example how the U.S. Department of Labor supports local job growth through WIA-funded programs, especially when sophisticated training is necessary for an advanced technology manufacturing workforce such as Unmanned Aircraft Systems and satellites.


Hawk Institute for Space Sciences provides aerospace engineering & value-added, integrated aerospace solutions to industry and all levels of government with a focus on education and advanced technology development on the Maryland Eastern Shore.  The Hawk Institute is focused in five areas:

·         Aerospace Engineering Services - Specializing in mechanical, electrical, thermal and systems engineering for space applications

·         Launch Services - Innovative mission development for clients seeking cost effective solutions

·         Small Satellite Design - Nano - and microsatellites serving the civil and national security communities

·         Unmanned Aircraft Systems - UAV flight demonstration, National Airspace (NAS) training and Certificate of Authorization (COA) services

·         Education & Community Development - Workforce development and re-training with a focus on engaging underrepresented populations


The Lower Shore Workforce Alliance (LSWA) is a division of the Tri-County Council for the Lower Eastern Shore of Maryland. The organization provides policy and oversight for Workforce Investment Act (WIA) funds and programs.  LSWA serves as the local Workforce Investment Board (WIB) and provides policy, planning and oversight for the local workforce system, as well as training opportunities based on local labor market demand. Services are primarily delivered at the One-Stop Job Market located at 917 Mount Hermon Road in Salisbury, Maryland.