Aircraft Maintenance Technology

JUN-JUL 2018

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Page 24 of 51 25 ERAU’s Horning says, “We have been fortunate to have a number of excellent relationships with industry. The department is one of the Delta Air Lines partner schools. Additionally, a number of industry partners have worked with us to establish internship programs.” The lack of new aircraft and components is a common challenge for aviation schools. “While finding willing participation in the advisory committee is not difficult,” SIU’s Johnson says, “obtaining the necessary equipment donations to support our lab environment is. We are constantly faced with decreases in state funding and a lack of widespread aviation industry involvement so we are always actively searching for donations.” Northland’s Krein says, “We’ve found obtaining new equipment and training aids difficult. We have not been able to procure new aircraft for student training as quickly as we’d like and we look for every opportunity to get donations of, and purchase new (to us) aircraft to replace the aircraft that are getting to the end of their useful life as training aids.” What Does the Future Hold? With support from industry associations like ATEC, ARSA, General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA), and others, and the push from 147 schools, passage of the bills in congress will go a long way in making aircraft technician training what it needs to be to fill the industry’s workforce needs. “The looming technician shortage is not an AMT school problem or an employer problem, it is an industry problem,” Russo says, “and we need to come together as an industry in order to solve it. If you are an employer of AMTs but are not currently partnering with an AMT school (at least informally), then please reach out to your local school and open a dialogue to see how you may work together to meet the needs of future AMTs. Please take the first step, as the school may be operating on a shoe-string budget with minimal staffing (especially if it is a public school), and may not have the resources to reach out to you. Let’s work together, so that the next generation of AMTs can aspire, accomplish, and take on the world.” NORTHLAND COMMUNITY and Technical College has a well-known large unmanned aircraft systems program and recently started a small unmanned aircraft systems field service tech program that is a standalone certificate. NORTHLAND COMMUNITY AND TECHNICAL COLLEGE SOUTHERN ILLINOIS University's helicopter lab. Its helicopter specialization is supported by a strong relationship with Bell. SOUTHERN ILLINOIS UNIVERSITY

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