GUILFORD COUNTY, N.C. — Carson Wicker is a born and bred North Carolinian. Raised in Guilford County, he had never really thought about Guilford Technical Community College as an education option until he had a friend join the program.
“Old friend from elementary school, it just sounded real cool to me,” Wicker said. “So, I took sheet metal first semester, and that was a lot of fun. And, now, I’m just trying to work on my degree.”
Once he got in to the school, though, the fit was perfect.
“I’ve always loved working with my hands,” Wicker said.
He’s in aerospace manufacturing, an industry that got a huge boost in the Triad Wednesday. Gov. Roy Cooper announced Boom Supersonic would build a plane manufacturing plant at Piedmont Triad International.
“It’s a great opportunity, especially for this program and for Greensboro itself,” Wicker said. “I think it’ll bring more industry into this town and really put this town on the map.”
He eventually wants to work for Boom, which manufactures supersonic passenger airplanes. The company says its Overture model is being built as the world’s fastest airliner. With a goal like that, Wicker isn’t the only one aiming to work for the company.
“We were first in flight, now we’re being first in making adaptation to sonic jet lines,” fellow student Gray Comer said.
For Comer, this industry is a family affair.
“I'll be a third-generation doing this work,” he said.
This move from Boom is expected to produce about 1,750 new jobs and has a budget of about $107 million for all of those new positions (meaning average pay will be around $60,000).
“I’m really excited for them. I’m hoping to see a lot more jobs be opened up, have more opportunities around here, especially for me and my classmates,” Comer said. “We’ll be able to get our feet in the doors.”
Doors that are now open, thanks to this announcement.
The Overture expects to roll out in 2025 and have its first passenger flight in 2029.
For now, GTCC will be hosting a career fair sometime in the next two months, and Boom Supersonic will be there if you want to learn more about the company.