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
"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
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
"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.