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Mary Jean Logan Sweet, from Ruthven, Iowa, and a student at Morningside College, was chosen along with nearly 100 other college women to participate in the Curtiss-Wright Engineering Cadette Program at Iowa State College (University) in 1943. Sponsored by the Curtiss-Wright Corporation, this was a nationwide program designed to ease wartime labor shortages, and also included more than 700 female students at Cornell University, Purdue University, University of Minnesota, Pennsylvania State College (University), Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, and the University of Texas.
The program at Iowa State was an intensive course in aeronautical engineering. The students received a certificate upon completion of the ten-month course (February to December 1943), and were then hired by the Curtiss-Wright Corporation for the duration of the Second World War. As they completed the course, the Curtiss-Wright Corporation paid for the students’ room and board, and provided a salary of ten dollars per week.
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