Feb. 25--GUILFORD COUNTY -- Guilford Technical Community College soon will join the aviation community at Piedmont Triad International Airport.
The new 41,000-square-foot Aviation III facility will accommodate the aviation program's growing enrollment and allow for expansion. Since 2006, enrollment in GTCC's aviation programs has increased from 150 students to 337 students in 2012.
The college conducts classes at the T.H. Davis Aviation Center and at a 12,000-square-foot hangar at 260 N. Regional Road as well as the Aviation Center II building at 819 Radar Road.
GTCC President Randy Parker said GTCC will join "the heart of the aviation industry in Guilford County, North Carolina and the eastern United States."
"This is a very exciting day for Guilford Technical Community College," Parker said. "GTCC continues its legacy as a leader in workforce development. We have a lot to be proud of."
The new building will house GTCC's Aviation Management and Career Pilot programs and additional classrooms for customized industry training. Aviation III also will be the first building and land that GTCC owns at the Piedmont Triad International Airport.
The building is expected to open in Spring 2014, with classes beginning by August 2014.
"We're here to train the workforce for the future in the aviation field," Parker said prior to a groundbreaking ceremony last week. "Today, the program is expanding. It is growing and will continue to grow. This is not a pipe dream."
The $10 million project is financed partly by bonds voters approved in 2008 along with state funds.
"This facility is a prime example of the trust and respect the people of Guilford County have demonstrated for Guilford Technical Community College," he said. "GTCC has managed the money allocated by county and state budgets with care and integrity. Taxpayer dollars and citizen trust have contributed to the training and maintenance of a skilled workforce."
Steve Johnston, senior division director of administration at Honda Aircraft said the Aviation III will help create a region with a solid foundation in aviation-related engineering, research and manufacturing.
"We at Honda know perfectly well that dreams have the greatest power when they are shared and then realized," Johnston said.
The new facility shows that GTCC wants to develop a future capability in aviation training, Johnston said.
"It's a capability to provide whatever skill sets aviation-related industries will need both in the present and in the future, and for both existing companies, and for those who will choose to come here in the future," Johnston said.
GTCC's aviation expansion will help fulfill the demand for skilled and trained workers. Local flight schools and aviation businesses including TIMCO and Honda Aircraft Co. have hired GTCC graduates.
Information: For GTCC's aviation programs, call (336) 334-4822 ext. 59011 or www.gtcc.edu. GTCC offers an Associate in Applied Science Degrees in Aviation Electronics (Avionics) Technology, Aviation Management, Career Pilot Technology and Aviation Systems Technology. The college also offers certificates in five areas of study.
Copyright 2013 - The High Point Enterprise, N.C.
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