HILL AIR FORCE BASE, Utah (ABC4) – Hill Air Force base and Weber State University (WSU) are one step closer to increasing educational and employment opportunities in northern Utah. Thursday, the two organizations signed a formal agreement that will give WSU more access to the base. The agreement aims to ensure the base always has properly trained employees. It also aims to help graduates obtain high-tech jobs close to home.  

“We have to have the workforce to do that work and to evolve and to take it to the next level,” WSU President Dr. Brad Mortensen told ABC4. “That’s why these types of partnerships will really open up those opportunities for our students.” 

Alphonso Thomas is the Director of Engineering and Technical Management for the U.S. Air Force Sustainment Center. He and Dr. Mortensen signed the agreement cementing the working relationship between the two organizations.

During the signing ceremony, Mr. Thomas said the nation’s security depends on airpower, and air power is what Hill Air Force base delivers.  

To continue delivering airpower to the United States, technology and the base must be up to snuff and evolve to become even more advanced.

Mr. Thomas said to do that, the base needs well-trained personnel. It also needs enough of those employees to meet its needs. He said that is part of the reason this agreement is important to have.  

Essentially, the agreement opens the base up to the university. Dr. Mortensen explained that this gives students “access to solve real, pressing, interesting problems that help create the safety and freedom that we all enjoy.”  

The partnership aims to improve the local economy as well. Not only by creating additional jobs as technology evolves on base, but by keeping graduates close to home. “We really hope that we can have more of our weber state students get high tech, high paying jobs here in northern Utah and in the aerospace defense sector,” stated Dr. Mortensen.  

The partnership will also allow the servicemen and women to continue their education while stationed at the base.