HAFB visits Comic Con to recruit for STEM workers

SALT LAKE CITY — This weekend, representatives from the state’s largest military installation are “boldly going” where few like them have gone before — to the center of the comic book and science fiction fantasy world in hopes of finding willing “recruits” for real jobs in the real world of science, technology, engineering and math.

Hill Air Force Base is searching for candidates to hire for hundreds of current and future civilian positions, explained Alison Sturgeon, civilian engineer and STEM outreach program manager at Hill. She said to fill all the positions that will be coming online over the next several years, the base will need to hire 200 to 300 people annually.

Statewide, there are about 7,000 open STEM jobs, she noted. With such a dearth of qualified people to fill scores of available high-tech positions, Sturgeon and a team of colleagues from Hill are targeting their efforts toward the Salt Lake Comic Con show at the Salt Palace Convention Center to find worthy candidates.

She noted that while the three-day event typically attracts thousands of sci-fi and comic geeks, they are hoping to find some STEM nerds as well. After reaching out to convention organizers, they were able to get their booth for free. Then it was up to the team to develop a plan to recruit.

For the Salt Lake Comic Con, the Hill crew received support from local aerospace and engineering groups. Sturgeon is hopeful the effort will provide exposure to a new audience.

“I have a philosophy that I will try most anything once,” Sturgeon said. “This was the perfect opportunity to see if this could be worth our time.”

She said the outreach program supports about 115 events annually throughout Utah in search of STEM-skilled workers.

“We’ll send people out to science fairs giving career presentations and have people who mentor …read more

Source:: Deseret News – Moneywise News

Trade panel: Cheap imports hurt US solar industry

WASHINGTON (AP) Low-cost solar panels imported from China and other countries have caused serious injury to American manufacturers, a U.S. trade commission ruled Friday, raising the possibility of the Trump administration imposing tariffs that could double the price of solar panels from abroad.

The 4-0 vote by the International Trade Commission sets up a two-month review period in which the panel must recommend a remedy to President Donald Trump, with a final decision on tariffs expected in January.

White House spokeswoman Natalie Strom said Trump “will examine the facts and make a determination that reflects the best interests of the United States. The U.S. solar manufacturing sector contributes to our energy security and economic prosperity.”

Georgia-based Suniva Inc. and Oregon-based SolarWorld Americas brought the case, saying a flood of imports have pushed them to the brink of extinction. Suniva declared bankruptcy, while SolarWorld had to lay off three-quarters of its workforce.

Cheap imports have led to a boom in the U.S. solar industry, where rooftop and other installations have surged tenfold since 2011.

The main trade group for the solar industry and many governors oppose tariffs, saying they could cause a sharp price hike that would lead to a drop in solar installations by more than 50 percent in two years.

Abigail Ross Hopper, president and CEO of the Solar Energy Industries Association, called the trade commission’s vote disappointing for nearly 9,000 U.S. solar companies and the 260,000 Americans they employ.

“Foreign-owned companies that brought business failures on themselves are attempting to exploit American trade laws to gain a bailout for their bad investments,” Hopper said, warning that potential tariffs could double the price of solar installations, lowering U.S. demand and risking billions of dollars in investment.

Suniva’s U.S. operations are based in Georgia, but the company’s majority owner is in China. SolarWorld Americas is a subsidiary …read more

Source:: Deseret News – Business News

First phases of Salt Lake City International Airport’s $1B redesign underway

SALT LAKE CITY — After more than a decade of planning, the $1 billion redesign of Salt Lake City International Airport is taking shape from paper to steel.

More than 21,000 tons of steel, in fact. So far.

Construction crews have spent the past four months using almost 20 cranes at a time to erect an average of 30 to 40 tons of steel for first major building — the South Concourse-West.

Salt Lake airport officials Friday gave media a behind-the-scenes tour of the massive construction project and one of the first looks at the beginnings of the state’s largest public project.

Salt Lake City Department of Airports

The new airport will eventually have two new concourses, replacing the three aging terminals with one central terminal building, along with a new public parking garage with twice as many stalls. Over time, all the existing terminals, parking garages and concourses will be demolished.

The first phase of construction — including the completion of the parking garage, terminal and South Concourse-West — is expected to be finished in 2020, according to Mike Williams, airport redevelopment program director.

The North Concourse-West’s completion is slated for 2021, while the east portions of both concourses are expected in 2024, Williams said.

As the new South Concourse-West stands now, it’s roughly 600 yards long, with 4,500 tons of structural steel, he said.

Soon the structure for the new terminal will begin rising out of the ground, Williams said, connecting the new concourses to the new parking garage with pedestrian skybridges.

Leading up to the new terminal’s front door will be two roadways — an elevated road for passenger drop-offs and a ground-level road for pick-ups.

So far, 18 massive concrete columns, each more than 7 feet in diameter, have been installed for that elevated road. More than 670 other concrete columns have been installed for …read more

Source:: Deseret News – Business News