Enrollment has opened for Cape Cod Community College’s new Aviation Maintenance Technology program.
The first classes will start on January 25 and prepare students for Federal Aviation Administration certification as airframe and power plant technicians, which requires 1900 hours of general, airframe and power plant training.
Michael Gross, a spokesman for Cape Cod Community College, said facility preparations are underway.
“We’re in the middle right now of renovating major hangar space up at the Plymouth Municipal Airport,” Gross said.
The program will teach skills that are highly sought after in the aviation industry.
“We’re very excited. This is something in which people will walk out the door and have a job literally handed to them the minute they are out,” Gross said.
Entry level jobs routinely pay between $35,000 and $50,000 a year for certified technicians.
“There is a terrible shortage of this trained certified personnel,” Gross said. “Companies are taking their airplanes even out of the country to be certified in terms of repair.”
The program, which takes about a year for full-time students, and FAA license exams cost just over $20,000. There are significant scholarship opportunities and financial aid is available to students who qualify.
The Aviation Maintenance Technology program will be one of just five in the country that offer an accelerated curriculum.
The school is partnering with national, regional and local airlines for the program, including Jet Blue and Cape Air.
A manufacturer of business and commercial aircraft, Bombardier, recently hosted students from the college at its state-of-the-art maintenance facility in Windsor Locks, Conn.
“They were literally opening their doors specifically in this case for women in aviation, and women in aviation maintenance, because there are so few women going into this program,” Gross said. “And our students will tell you that they almost couldn’t back out the door until they agreed to go back and work for Bombardier because they were looking for really trained technicians.”
Gross said the program can also lead students to further their education.
“Many of the students might go on to a school which allows them to go into engineering design for airplanes,” Gross said. “They might go get a bachelor’s degree in the engineering or maintenance program so there are other places to go from us in the academic world.”
The program is 63 percent funded by two federal grants, including more than $2.4 million awarded by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Employment and Training Administration and almost $900,000 from the National Science Foundation.