XENIA — Greene County Career Center celebrated the completion of its new aviation maintenance program’s hangar at the Lewis A. Jackson Regional Airport July 8.
The 7,500 square-foot facility houses an open bay for aircraft and engine maintenance training, space for sheet metal fabrication, as well as classroom, office, and meeting areas. The new GCCC program will enable high school juniors and seniors to earn airframe maintenance certification while also putting hours toward power plant certification through Sinclair Community College.
GCCC Board of Education members attended the small ribbon cutting ceremony, which was also posted online for viewers.
“It is our hope that this space can be used to train many airline mechanics right here in Greene County for years to come,” Superintendent Dave Deskins said. “This is one of many exciting days ahead for the Greene County Career Center. More importantly, today marks another day in the history of this county where your local career center continues to prepare students for our local workforce in the in-demand jobs that are vital to the Miami Valley.”
Seventeen students are scheduled to begin the aviation maintenance program in the fall, Deskins reported.
Mike Uecker, president of the GCCC Board of Education, said the program will ready students for certifications as they use the most modern equipment and curriculum.
“Our new instructor Jason Knisley will work with industry partners like Airborne Maintenance that provide job opportunities that are high-tech and hands-on with tremendous earning potential,” Uecker continued.
According to Deskins, 2019 data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics showed the median annual wage for aircraft mechanics and service technicians at $64,090. The top 10 percent of airline mechanics nationwide last year reportedly earned more than $101,000.
Todd France, president of Airborne Maintenance & Engineering Services in Wilmington — which employs 1,600 workers — said the organization has had a need for more than 100 local licensed technicians for many years.
“The aviation industry is at a critical time in being able to track qualified, licensed, AMP technicians,” France said via video. “At a time when the need to see an interest in aviation careers is going up, the data is actually trending in the opposite direction. We’ve had a diminishing supply of qualified mechanics and technicians for years. Thankfully, the Greene County Career Center will continue to have a larger opportunity to not only have a positive impact on the careers of future men and women locally from this community but also have a larger impact and play a larger role in resolving the aviation crisis as a whole.”
According to Cassie Barlow, president of Southwest Ohio Council for Higher Education, data indicates that middle-skill jobs — which require education beyond high school but not a four-year degree — make up the largest part of Ohio’s labor market.
”This is exactly the skill-set that will be educated at the aviation maintenance facility, Take Flight Academy and the Greene County Career Center,” Barlow said via video.
The project came to fruition through partnerships with the Greene County Airport Authority Board, Dayton Development Coalition, state legislators, Clark State and Sinclair community colleges, Airport Manager Dave Kushner and industry partners including Airborne Maintenance. Brumbaugh Construction was the general contractor and Brandstetter Carroll was the architect of the facility.
GCCC is scheduled to open for the 2020-21 school year on Tuesday, Aug. 25.
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