Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control Storefront announcement and MOU signing with UTEP, Wednesday, October 9, 2019, in El Paso, Texas. Photo by Ivan Pierre Aguirre/UTEP Communications

UTEP, Lockheed Martin sign agreement to employ students in El Paso

The University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP) President Heather Wilson and Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control Vice President of Engineering & Technology Travis Coomer signed a Memorandum of Agreement Wednesday that will employ UTEP students as interns with Lockheed Martin in El Paso.

“Lockheed Martin is a strong partner,” said UTEP President Heather Wilson. “Through this agreement, we are taking the next step in our relationship and bringing more engineering and business jobs to El Paso. We educate students from the region for jobs in industry, but UTEP will also work with community leaders to attract companies willing to employ people here in El Paso.”

In addition to Wilson and Coomer, U.S. Rep. Veronica Escobar, El Paso Mayor Dee Margo and El Paso County Judge Ricardo A. Samaniego participated in today’s announcement and signing ceremony.

Over the past 10 years, Lockheed Martin has supported research, infrastructure and program development at UTEP in the College of Engineering, leading to successful collaborations on dozens of professional and educational projects.

The company also has supported the College of Business Administration, where the Lockheed Martin Enterprise Resource Planning Academy has offered students an application-oriented view of planning systems since 2017.

As part of the new agreement, Lockheed Martin will open a location in El Paso near the UTEP campus where they will employ UTEP undergraduate students as interns. In addition, Lockheed Martin will hire UTEP doctoral students and postdoctoral researchers to serve as supervisors.

“UTEP is an invaluable asset to El Paso and key in training the next generation of workforce and promoting our binational region’s economic development,” Congresswoman Escobar said. “This partnership with Lockheed Martin will support growth and innovation in the aerospace and defense industries and open the doors of opportunity to a vibrant community of talented, highly trained, highly skilled students.”

The Lockheed Martin location may also provide an opportunity for existing Lockheed Martin employees from El Paso to return to their hometown while continuing to work for the company.

UTEP is one of only nine top tier research universities in Texas. It educates 35% more undergraduate engineers than the University of New Mexico, and is the largest university between Tucson, Arizona; the Colorado border; and Lubbock, Texas.

For Lockheed Martin, the partnership provides opportunities to recruit a highly educated and diverse workforce while continuing to work closely with other high-tech UTEP facilities, including the W.M. Keck Center for 3D Innovation and the NASA MIRO Center for Space Exploration and Technology Research (cSETR).

Lockheed Martin is one of the most active and successful recruiters of UTEP graduates. Its F-35 manufacturing plant in Fort Worth, Texas, employs more than 100 UTEP alumni.

“Lockheed Martin and UTEP have a strong history of partnership,” Coomer said. “With the establishment of this program, we see great potential for the UTEP interns to make invaluable contributions to the engineering community and to the future of our business.”

Leaders and policymakers from across the Paso del Norte region said they’re encouraged by the prospects this latest addition to the partnership between UTEP and Lockheed Martin presents.

“The City of El Paso fully supports UTEP’s commitment to economic development efforts that harness the talent of this community’s students,” El Paso Mayor Dee Margo said. “Lockheed Martin’s increased presence in El Paso will bolster our city’s reputation as a place where Fortune 100 companies, like Lockheed Martin, can grow their businesses by seizing on the opportunity that our homegrown, dedicated workforce presents.”

“The County of El Paso stands with UTEP in its efforts to create local jobs for a highly educated and competitive workforce that continues to grow in our region,” El Paso County Judge Ricardo A. Samaniego said. “Both the County and UTEP take great pride in the preparation of our future leaders who, through their vision and leadership, will create growth and prosperity in our region. We are pleased to have Lockheed Martin as a partner in this endeavor.”

UTEP is a comprehensive public research university that is increasing access to excellent higher education. It advances discovery of public value and positively impacts the health, culture, education and economy of the community it serves.

Headquartered in Bethesda, Maryland, Lockheed Martin is a global security and aerospace company that employs approximately 105,000 people worldwide and is principally engaged in the research, design, development, manufacture, integration and sustainment of advanced technology systems, products and services.