Alabama's Chief Executive Pledges $6 Million To Aviation
Alabama Governor Bob Riley last week
unveiled plans for a $6 million aviation training facility at
Enterprise-Ozark Community College, making good on a promise he
made last March.
"We will build a center that will not only compete in Alabama
but will compete all over the world, to ensure that this area will
become known as the center of aviation excellence, and if we do
that, we do not have to worry about the economy or the quality of
life," he said at a meeting of military leaders, school officials
and executives from aircraft and avionics firms in Alabama. He was
quoted in the Southeast Sun newspaper.
Last week, when he helped launch the construction project, Riley
heard from Mike Spears, who heads up Sikorsky's Troy (AL) division.
Already, Spears said, 175 of his workers are graduates of the
avionics program at EOCC. "Projections are that we will employ
around 300 workers in a couple of years. We have to hire people
that have skills and training - but it has to be done on up-to-date
equipment... some of the equipment was here when I came through the
school 20 years ago," he said. Even then, he told the governor, the
equipment was out of date. "We appreciate anything we can get to
update the equipment at the center."
That was justification enough for Riley, the Sun reported, who
said the EOCC project wasn't developed with a "'build it and they
will come' mentality - the jobs are already here."