On the fringes of I/ITSEC in Orlando in Florida last month, Lockheed Martin continued to demonstrate the importance it places on collaboration with and support for the academic communities in its major operating locations.

Fuelling thousands of high-tech jobs in Orlando, the company is helping to drive long-term economic impact to the community. It presented a $300,000 check to Valencia College to support a second advanced manufacturing training programme that will help cultivate the talent pipeline in the community. This will be a three-year long grant to the school starting in 2018. The first programme hired about 60 people and currently employs about 400 Valencia College graduates in Orlando.

"After more than 60 years in our community, Lockheed Martin continues to develop some of the most advanced technology in the industry right here in Orlando, employing 8,000 of our residents and consistently contributing to our economy and our community," commented Orlando Mayor, Buddy Dyer. "We are grateful for Lockheed Martin's commitment to growing our talent pipeline through partnerships with both [the] University of Central Florida and Valencia that will ensure we meet our future workforce needs while also cultivating our community's next generation of scientists, technologists and engineers to work in the high quality careers of tomorrow at a company like Lockheed Martin."

On 27 November, the company also announced a $1.5 million grant to the University of Central Florida (UCF) to establish a Cyber Innovation Lab. The lab will foster the next generation of cyber talent. Lockheed Martin employs more than 2,200 UCF graduates in Orlando.

"Developing the latest technology to support our nation, fostering the next generation of talent and growing the economy are our top priorities," stated the General Manager and Vice President of Lockheed Martin's Training and Logistics Solutions line of business, Amy Gowder. "Continued growth and success of our Orlando business is made possible by the hard-working men and women who produce, develop and test critical technology and components that are vital to our national security."

"Lockheed Martin's presence in Orlando began more than 60 years ago with America's launch into the space race, establishing the region as a dominant player in developing advanced technologies that positively impact our nation," added President and CEO of the Orlando Economic Partnership, Tim Giuliani. "We are thrilled for that legacy to continue as business growth extends educational partnerships, STEM programmes, and the development of advanced technology in Central Florida."

In addition to support for Orlando and Florida academic institutions, Lockheed Martin announced its award of 200 scholarships of $10,000 per student – awards that are renewable each year. This national programme is open to individuals studying engineering or computer science who demonstrate financial need and come from underrepresented or underserved communities. The program will grow to 1,000 students by 2023 and $10 million in scholarships annually.

Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer proclaims 30 November as “Lockheed Martin Innovation and Technology Day” with Lockheed Martin Vice Presidents Amy Gowder and Michael Williamson. (Photo: Lockheed Martin)

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