Steven Walker Sarasota Herald-Tribune
Manatee Technical College and Suncoast Technical College will break ground on a new aviation maintenance technician school at Sarasota Bradenton International Airport on Thursday afternoon.
Once completed, the school will offer courses and training for students to prepare for careers as aviation technicians. The school is part of a partnership between the Sarasota and Manatee County school districts with Manatee and Suncoast Technical Colleges, as well as the University of South Florida Sarasota-Manatee, according to a Manatee County School District news release.
Michael Barber, a spokesman for the Manatee district, said the school could open in about two years, depending on the accreditation from the Federal Aviation Administration and the Council on Occupational Education.
MTC and STC will provide career certificate workforce training for aviation airframe mechanics and aviation powerplant mechanics. Meanwhile, USFSM will offer courses and learning modules related to the aviation industry, according to the release.
“The collaboration between all of the entities and organizations involved is what inspired the state Legislature and governor to support this school so generously,” Manatee County Superintendent Cynthia Saunders said.
In 2022 when the state allocated $5.5 million for the project, the release noted.
The school plans to graduate between 45 and 50 students each year once the school opens, she said.
The state has an estimated 1,500 openings for aircraft mechanics and service technicians, and the Bradenton area has more than 50 employers in the aviation industry, according to the release.