CAPE CANAVERAL SPACEPORT – The Florida Space Research Institute (FSRI) has signed an agreement with the not-for-profit organization Summer Industrial Fellowships for Teachers (SIFT) to sponsor at least 25 summer jobs in the aerospace industry for Florida K-12 teachers.  The teachers will gain valuable “real-world” work experience that they can bring back to their classrooms and their students.

“Technology education teachers are vital links in the supply chain for our state’s aerospace industry workforce,” said Dr. Penny Haskins, an FSRI board member representing the Florida Aviation Aerospace Alliance.  “This project will increase the teachers’ knowledge of the kinds of skills needed within the industry.”

FSRI will work with SIFT to recruit teachers and host companies from three regions of the state that feature a large aerospace industry presence, including Central Florida, Northeast Florida, and Northwest Florida.  The teachers will each spend two months during the summer of 2005 with their host companies, with SIFT paying their salary and insurance costs.  FSRI will provide a grant of $137,000 to SIFT to cover the costs.

“SIFT is pleased to work with FSRI to support our state’s aerospace industry,” said SIFT President Paul Horsey.  “We appreciate FSRI’s continued support for our program and look forward to placing these teachers in positions that not only benefit themselves and their students, but also the companies that host them.  This is a win-win-win proposition.”

Technology education teachers and companies who are interested in participating can contact SIFT Executive Director Don Beck for information at

FSRI’s support for the project is enabled under a workforce development pilot project sponsored by Workforce Florida, Inc., and the U.S. Department of Labor.  FSRI is an institute established by the state’s Governor and Legislature to stimulate Florida’s space industry diversification through space research, workforce and education programs.

Contact: FSRI – Edward Ellegood, 321-452-2653, ext. 204