Since 2008, Sinclair has been part of UAS innovation, including creating partnerships, developing curriculum and investing to establish a nationally prominent program dedicated to meeting the workforce needs of the growing UAS industry. Sinclair is considered one of the leaders in the industry.
Sinclair previously served as an affiliate member of ASSURE beginning in 2015.
Now that the college is elevated, it can lead projects and expand its contributions, Johnson said.
Andrew Shepherd, executive director and chief scientist for UAS at Sinclair College, said the elevation in status means the college may also be able to bring in some outside partners and help students join in research projects that give them more experience and introductions into the industry.
“Once it’s done, you know you’re gonna see a multibillion-dollar a year industry that we’ve seen growing continue to expand,” Shepherd said.
Stephen P. Luxion, a retired colonel and the ASSURE Federal Aviation Administration Center of Excellence for UAS executive director, said the promotion of Sinclair from an affiliate to a core member is a recognition of tremendous effort from the college.
He noted Sinclair’s role in the region after NCR left in 2009, creating a new workforce base around supporting unmanned aircraft aviation. At that time, the city and the region started looking into what new industries could be brought into the region.
“We have all these great outcomes, but it takes a community, and this community has stepped up and really done absolutely amazing things,” Luxion said.