United Launch Alliance

“United Launch Alliance is committed to a robust corporate citizenship program that targets the need to excite our next generation of engineers and rocket scientists,” said Michael Gass, ULA’s president and CEO. “We have a national crisis in not inspiring enough of our young people to pursue careers in science and technology. In addition to providing funding, ULA is working to address the challenge by mobilizing our workforce to help make a difference in our community and change the equation.”

- Michael Gass, CEO

Why is your company signing the Commitment to Excellence?

ULA is the nation’s rocket company, building and launching the Atlas V and Delta IV family of rockets. Nearly once a month, ULA launches satellites for NASA, the Air Force, Department of Defense, or other customers. Our missions advance our way of life, impact the way we live and do business, even how we grow our food. We have achieved 100 percent mission success for our customers, launching 81 consecutive missions on our Atlas and Delta rockets. We’re also working on projects that will launch American astronauts aboard new space vehicles.

Without a world class workforce comprised of many engineers, ULA would not be able to provide the level of service our nation has come to expect. In fact, we employ more rocket scientists than any private company in the country…and maybe the world.

Growing a workforce that can meet the challenges of the science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) industries of tomorrow is a concern for all of us in these industries. This is why we focus most of our funding in the community on STEM education, from preschool to colleges and universities. And, this is why we have signed the Commitment to Excellence.

What are your company’s specific PreK-12 STEM interests (e.g. computer programming, robotics, engineering, etc.)?

ULA’s “Launching Learning” community outreach program (which includes a Rocketry 101 presentation and hands-on rocket launching activity), engineering, robotics, mentoring, other experiential activities (simulated rocket launches), supporting science museum exhibits and programs, others.

What PreK-12 STEM programs, particularly those contained in STEMworks, does your company support?

ULA’s corporate citizenship program spans across the entire education pipeline, from pre-kindergarten to higher education support. The outreach is a strategic mix of employee outreach and leadership combined with targeted funding.

ULA funds dozens of STEM-related programs nationally. These include grants to local school districts, colleges and universities, non-profits and professional organizations nationally, as well at all of ULA’s sites in Alabama, California, Colorado, Florida and Texas.

As these STEM-focused students move along the spectrum, we partner with them at several colleges and universities, funding a wide variety of mutually beneficial research studies.

ULA’s summer intern program reflects this ongoing commitment by providing engineering and business positions that give college students real work experience and exposure to ULA’s work environment.  Each year, more than 100 college interns also take part in the design, construction and launch of large rockets, carrying payloads built by Ball Aerospace interns and high school and elementary school children. 

Please share ways in which your company collaborates with state/local organizations or other companies around STEM learning.

More than 20 ULA leaders serve on non-profit boards of directors and state commissions.

CEO Michael Gass serves on Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper’s Education Leadership Council and was the co-chair of former Colorado Gov. Bill Ritter’s P-20 Education Commission. ULA leaders chaired and spearheaded the State Council for Educator Effectiveness. ULA also is supporting the rollout of Colorado’s STEM road map.

ULA participates in other state-wide STEM activities in Alabama, California, Colorado, Florida and Texas.