A signing ceremony was held on Feb. 13 at Owego Free Academy (OFA) for senior Jasper Corson, who signed a contract for full-time employment with Lockheed Martin in Owego.
Attending the ceremony in the OFA lobby were students, staff and administration, along with Lockheed Martin representatives.
OA Superintendent, Corey Green, remarked, “This is a very special day for our school community, and we are excited for the opportunity that is about to come for Jasper.”
Green explained that about three years ago, OFA embarked on the co-op initiative with Lockheed Martin, which is geared toward workforce development.
Green commented, “We couldn’t be more proud today to see where this has gone, and continues to grow through our first opportunity with Lockheed Martin.”
Green looked up, and shared, “All of you who are here today (students) on the bridges, there are career opportunities right here in your own community.”
Hamid Salim, vice president and general manager at the Owego facility, remarked, “This is a really special event for our team. Our manufacturing and production areas use cutting edge technologies, and the individuals who work in our operations are the backbone of our business. It is our hope to build these co-op programs to secure the next generation of our workforce, which is really critical to us.”
Salim continued, “It is awesome to bring to our team a young, talented individual like Jasper,” and referring to other students in the room, added, “Established here today is a path for many of you in this room to follow.”
Nate Minniti, Lockheed Martin manufacturing director, gave a nod to several employees who helped him bring his co-op vision to fruition, which he said was to, “Make our future workforce.”
Jasper is one of five OFA students participating in a co-op program with Lockheed Martin. OFA also has several other students participating in co-op experiences at other local businesses.
Jasper’s parents, Jodi and Jerry, are excited for their son’s future. Jodi explained that Jasper started working the co-op program during the summer before his junior year at OFA, and then during the school year spends half of his day at school, and the other half working at Lockheed Martin.
Jasper first learned about the co-op program via his OFA technology teacher, and when asked how he feels about the accomplishment, he shared that he is happy there will be “no college debt,” although would consider the company’s tuition reimbursement benefit later.
Jasper will start full-time in the Machining Center after graduation.