What's Working: High School Students Learn Aviation Industry

What's Working: High School Students Learn Aviation Industry

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Dozens of Mobile County students are getting on-the-job training, while in high school. They are enrolled in the Aviation Maintenance program, and now they have three times the opportunities to get hands-on training. The increase in opportunity is due to the school system tripling the number of classes offered in aviation. News Five visited the Bryant Career Technical Center in Irvington, where students were learning the ins and outs of airplanes. The students are bused in from six Mobile County High Schools for two hour classes, five days per week.

Instructor Robert Watson was an aircraft mechanic in the Air Force for over twenty years. He is preparing students for a job in the aviation industry, as soon as they graduate. In fact, he says the students only need a few more classes to earn an Associate's Degree after high school, due to the system's dual enrollment program. He says his enrollment is "maxed out" since Airbus made the announcement to build a Final Assembly Plant at the Brookley Aeroplex. "We aren't offering them a job. We are offering them a career. They have a chance to to start here at 16,17,18, and go to retirement. That is what we are offering them." Student Dillon Spencer is thrilled with the opportunity to have discovered his future career path. "When I first came in, the teacher said 'it chooses you,' and he was right. It chose me. I realized I wanted to work on airplanes."

Larry Mouton, the Director of Career and Technical Education for Mobile County Public school, says the school system has jumped on the opportunity to train students for careers in the blossoming field of aviation. "Mobile has always been the hub of aviation in this region of the country. Most recently, with Airbus coming on, it has created a lot of excitement for the young people and their parents, and we have the training to make them prepared for one of those great jobs."

Construction is currently underway at BC Rain High School, where a wing is being built for aviation needs. The students will learn on a donated Cessna that is currently housed at the Bryant Center in Irvington.

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