XENIA — Greene County Career Center’s (GCCC) new aviation maintenance program has received Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Part 147 school certification.
“Whenever we expand our programming, we look at market alignment and the regional workforce,” Brett Doudican, GCCC curriculum specialist, said. “This is definitely a need. But this has been a much heavier lift than our other programs.”
According to Doudican, the career center is the first school in the region in 19 years to receive FAA certification and the first career technical center in 30 years to create a program like this. The last local school to receive the certification was Sinclair Community College in 2001.
“What this pathway creates for students and families is really high labor wages, a huge demand in the field, so many different branches to opportunities — aircraft mechanic, aerospace engineer, avionics — a bunch of different avenues to take,” Doudican said. “We are really excited to have this dynamic program get off the ground.”
OhioMeansJobs Salary Projections range in the low $40K to high $60K range for aircraft mechanics and avionics technicians, to between $90K and $137K for aerospace engineers.
The FAA certification allows students in the program to earn airframe technician certification while also putting hours toward power plant certification through an agreement with Sinclair, GCCC officials said in a release.
According to Doudican, entry level certifications are general, airframe, and power plant mechanic. The school partnered with Sinclair and aligned its curriculum to theirs almost exactly.
“The way we aligned it … students can earn general and airframe with us, complete the entry pathway, then go onto power plant at Sinclair or another post-secondary school,” Doudican explained.
Certain companies will hire students with an airframe certification for on-site training, like Airborne Maintenance & Engineering Services (A.M.E.S.) in Wilmington, another partner to GCCC. The power plant certification is not essential to get a job, but major airlines require it, Doudican said.
Doudican also said school officials have quickly learned that the aviation community is close-knit, which has resulted in partnerships like Sinclair and A.M.E.S. Todd France, president of A.M.E.S., said during the GCCC hangar’s ribbon cutting in July that the company has had a need for more than 100 local licensed technicians for many years.
“The announcement strengthens the school’s resolve to provide qualified technicians for decades to come,” GCCC officials said.
The aviation maintenance program, taught by Jason Knisley, launched this year and has 17 juniors enrolled. Students currently receive instruction and training at the Lewis A. Jackson Regional Airport’s GCCC hangar three times a week, and take their academic classes online on their off days.
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