Jan. 21—BEAVER — New River Community and Technical College is planning to offer an aircraft maintenance technician program.
The college announced Thursday that American Electric Power (AEP) has provided a $100,000 grant to support the purchase of equipment for the program.
"We appreciate AEP's support in assisting the College to develop innovative programs," said New River CTC President Dr. Bonny Copenhaver in the announcement. "College programs, like this one, are designed to meet the needs of employers in our region and to train and employ community members. Partners like Appalachian Power and the AEP Foundation are essential in helping us to fulfill our mission as a community college."
"The American Electric Power Foundation is pleased to help foster education, training and economic advancement through this grant," said Ronn Robinson, external affairs manager with Appalachian Power. "The college's acquisition of this airframe will advance its aircraft maintenance program and provide training opportunities that will translate into good jobs for NRCTC students and the community."
Both the Raleigh County Memorial Airport and the Greenbrier Valley Regional Airport are now classified as AEROReady™ regions, indicating that the infrastructure is in place to build this sector of the economy.
New River CTC is currently working with the Federal Aviation Administration to obtain the necessary FAR 147 certificates to be able to offer the aircraft maintenance courses.
The Aircraft Maintenance Technician School with an Airframe and Powerplant rating will support manufacturing and innovation initiatives by working with the Raleigh County Memorial Airport and the New River Gorge Regional Development Authority. New River CTC's Board of Governors along with the West Virginia Community and Technical College Council approved the purchase of a hangar at the Raleigh County Memorial Airport in 2022.
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) certifies the schools with technician programs.
"When all other eligibility requirements are met, an authenticated document issued by a part 147 AMTS can be used by a mechanic applicant to show eligibility to test for a mechanic certificate airframe and/or powerplant rating, as applicable to the curriculum from which the applicant graduated/completed," the FAA website says. "The goal of any AMTS should be to prepare students with the basic knowledge, skills, and attitude to be successful in an aviation maintenance career."
According to Glassdoor, the average salary for an aircraft maintenance technician is between $37,000 to $78,00 per year.
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