MANATEE COUNTY- A new aviation mechanic program is coming to Manatee Technical College. MTC received 5.5 million in the state budget to launch an Aviation Maintenance Technical School.
“We’ve spoken to a number of professionals in the field and they are crying for aviation mechanics all over the nation,” Director of Manatee Technical College Dr. Valerie Viands said. “So someone going through an aviation program can pretty much right their ticket to where in the country they would like to go after training.”
The school will be housed at Sarasota-Bradenton International Airport, one of the fastest growing airports in the country.
“We got a $3 million dollar department of Economic Opportunity Grant to build maintenance hangar improvements, and do the site work for the school, and we’ve been working with the schools to make this come to fruition.”
SRQ Airport CEO Rick Piccolo says there are immediate opening for airplane mechanics.
“There is tremendous demand over the next 20 years,” Piccolo said. “They estimate about 700,000 jobs available, and starting at about 65,000.”
And the program will help bring new business to the aiport.
“We’re talking to a number of maintenance companies that do major repair and operations,” Piccolo said. “So having the school and the talent pool that can function and go right into an employer is a great way to attract that type of business.”
Manatee County will now look to build the classroom, buy equipment and hire teachers as they get the program up and running.
“The first one is called air frame,” Dr. Paul Gansemer said. “And with the air frame they learn about the body of the frame and how to maintain it, how to fix it, the second part is the power plan, and that’s about how the engines work and how they can maintain that as well.”
The program will take about two years to build before they start accepting students into the program.