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Mon, Jun 25, 2007

Aviation Maintenance Technology Program Begins This Fall

Aviation Careers To Take Flight In Fort Wayne

Fort Wayne, IN, which boasts two airports and several aviation-related companies, will soon have a maintenance training program to fulfill the opportunities for those who have an interest in the aviation industry.

This fall marks the opening of Ivy Tech Community College Northeast's aviation maintenance technology program where students will earn an associate degree and possibly FAA certification following their degree, with an airframe rating and/or powerplant rating.

"This program opens the doors for many opportunities," said Program Chairman Bill Terhune.

According to Terhune, an associate degree in aviation maintenance technology not only opens doors to the industry, including airlines, corporate aircraft, and general aviation, but also presents opportunities in the racing industry and as quality-control inspectors in a variety of different industries, including the petroleum industry.

"Because aviation mechanics are trained in a multitude of mechanical aptitudes, they can apply those to many industries," Terhune said. "And others [in other industries] like aviation mechanics because they are trained to be careful. If you have a repair on an airplane, it has to be right. You can't pull over on a cloud and take it back to be fixed."

"This degree transcends aviation," added Kim Pontius, executive director of work force and economic development for Ivy Tech. "There are so many fields they can work in outside of aviation, including power-generator companies, elevator technicians, the GPS fields - so many opportunities. This is so exciting."  

The program will be offered to Ivy Tech students. Ivy Tech also offers a collaborative program with Anthis Career Center, in which high-school juniors and seniors from Fort Wayne Community Schools receive dual credit while enrolled.

Ivy Tech is also working with Purdue University so that Ivy Tech students can transition into Purdue's aviation programs.

For students who want to start in the field upon receiving their associate degrees, the job possibilities are plentiful, Pontius said. And the program is already proving popular.

Pontius added that it's not just students who are excited, but local industries, too, that will employ the new crop of workers.

"We've had a lot of interest from airports who want information on our program, but also companies are asking about it because they're interested in people coming through the program."

The aviation maintenance technician program will be operated out of Smith Field Airport, where Ivy Tech is constructing a 10,000-square-foot facility. A larger facility is planned for the future - up to four times the size of the building under construction, Pontius said.

The fall program will begin with the powerplant portion of the training, Terhune said, with class beginning August 20.

FMI: www.ivytech.edu/fortwayne

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