New Lockheed, TSU

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, June 27, 2000

program draws governor


Staff Writer

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June 26, 2000 10 PM

Lockheed Martin and Troy State University are scheduled to open the new Southeast Alabama Technology Learning Center today, and Gov. Don Siegelman will be the featured speaker.

Predictions of bad weather may have canceled the ground breaking in January, but construction remained on the predicted schedule, said Randy Stevenson, plant manager for Lockheed Martin Pike County Operations.

Today, those involved in the project will see their ideas become a reality during a special ceremony at noon. Gov. Siegelman is slated to arrive at the plant near the Orion Community in Pike County at 11:45 a.m. for a plant tour. The groundbreaking will begin at noon, and Siegelman is scheduled to make comments during the ceremony.

"We are very pleased at Governor Siegelman’s participation in this historic partnership between business and education," said Nettie Johnson, Lockheed Martin Orlando media relations director. "We appreciate the governor’s willingness to spend his time with us and we are thankful he was willing to take time out of a busy schedule to attend."

The Southeast Alabama Learning Center was built at Lockheed Martin’s Pike County Operations plant and will be a part of Troy State University’s Southeast Alabama (SEAL) Technology Network.

"It’s going to have a dual role," Stevenson said.

He said the training center will service Lockheed Martin’s pre-employment and post-employment training, as well as serving the citizens of southeast Alabama as a "learning hub" for technological fields of study.

"This facility is a win-win solution for students in the region, including Lockheed Martin employees, and is a strong example of the great partnership between Lockheed Martin and the state," Stevenson said.

Troy State’s Vice Chancellor Douglas Patterson said the SEAL Technology Network can be used to provide specific training to Lockheed Martin, but can also provide training which is needed by other businesses and industry. He said the network will use a combination of audio/visual teleconferencing and the Internet.

It will provide distance learning for school systems in the area, as well as businesses and governmental agencies in southeastern Alabama.

It was the Alabama Legislature’s $1 million allotment that has made development of the SEAL Technology Network possible. That money was presented to Troy State and Lockheed Martin in November.

According to Stevenson, the legislature’s allocation included $400,000 to construct and equip the training center.

Participating in today’s event will be Siegleman; Alabama State Sen. Wendell Mitchell; Ala. State Rep. Alan Boothe; Troy State University System chancellor, Dr. Jack Hawkins, Jr.; Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control ­ Orlando president, Stan Arthur; and Stevenson.

Lockheed Martin’s Pike County facility does final assembly, test and storage of missiles through Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control in Orlando. The 3,863-acre facility is six miles northeast of Troy.