South Carolina’s aerospace industry cluster accounts for 17,000 private sector jobs with an average total compensation rate of $71,000 per year. Greenville Technical College offers training to provide the necessary workforce through its aircraft maintenance technology program, located at the S.C. Technology and Aviation Center (SCTAC).
Students may pursue one of three certificates, an associate’s degree or a bachelor’s degree, in partnership with Embry Riddle Aeronautical University. According to program department head Carl Washburn, students who graduate and earn the FAA certification have strong job placement rates within the industry.
The program is limited by the size of the current facility, Washburn said. Greenville Tech is constructing a $20-million, 93,808-square-foot, state-of-the-art facility in conjunction with the S.C. National Guard. They plan to move into the new building this summer and begin classes in the fall. The new facility will be three times the size of the current space and will include dedicated lab space, a larger hangar for 12 fixed-wing aircraft, including the 1983 Falcon 10 Dassault aircraft donated by Spinx Inc., and one helicopter, and will allow the program to grow and increase the number of students able to complete the program and enter South Carolina’s growing aerospace workforce.
This aircraft maintenance technology program is licensed by the Federal Aviation Administration. Certificates are available for airframe, powerplant and avionics, and each takes 18 months to complete. The two-year associate’s degree program requires 2,000 contact hours, including 1,000 hours in lab or classroom work and 1,000 hours of working on airplanes. Students work on every part of the aircraft, including the engine, landing gear and hydraulics, said Washburn. The experience is similar to the work being done nearby at Honeywell and Lockheed Martin.
This post contains excerpts from an article published by GSA Business Report. Read the full article here>>