Aviation technical school given green light to begin construction at Sarasota airport
BRADENTON, Fla. — About $5.5 million in the Florida budget is allocated toward the construction of an Aviation Maintenance Technician School at the Sarasota Bradenton International Airport.
Manatee County officials on Wednesday announced funding for the project, which is expected to provide career certificate workforce training in the areas of airframe mechanics and aviation powerplant mechanics. Manatee Technical College, in partnership with Sarasota’s Suncoast Technical College, will provide the education, officials said in a news release.
The University of South Florida Sarasota-Manatee is involved, as well, to give students the opportunity to get licensed in aviation maintenance and other advanced training in the aviation industry.
“The aviation maintenance training program at SRQ will be a valuable strategic asset for economic development in the Bradenton area and our region,” President and CEO of the Bradenton Area EDC Sharon Hillstrom said. “Companies want to locate in forward-thinking communities that understand the value of collaboration and that support education, workforce development and business expansion.”
The Bradenton Area Economic Development reported there are about 1,500 yearly openings for service technicians and aircraft mechanics. The Bradenton EDC also stated there are more than 50 employees in the aviation and aerospace industry operating in the Manatee and Sarasota counties.
“This school will create worldwide opportunity for students in our entire region in a growing industry,” SRQ President and CEO Rick Piccolo said. “It enhances the opportunity to attract major aircraft maintenance firms to the airport which would create high paying jobs locally.”