Tuesday, May 03, 2016

Our view: Auburn aviation program deserves its well-earned industry attention

Auburn University’s aviation program spread its wings this week by announcing a partnership with the Alabama Community College System, and it’s a good move for interested students and the state’s growing ties to the aviation industry.

The partnership is intended to make it easier for students interested in an aviation-related job to get on the education and training track needed. It also helps address workforce needs for current and prospective industries eyeing Alabama.

The industry is growing in our state. Airbus, for example, began aircraft assembly at a new plant in Mobile that in April delivered its first completed aircraft, sold to the JetBlue airline.

Huntsville is well known for its aerospace industries and ties, serving as a base for many of NASA’s programs.

Closer to home, Auburn’s aviation school has produced scores of top-flight professionals in the business, ranging from airport managers to astronauts.

Several key players in the new partnership met to announce it Thursday at a press conference, led by university President Jay Gogue and Mark Heinrich, chancellor of the community college system.

The partnership will focus on aerospace engineering and aviation-related degree programs, flight education training, unmanned aircraft systems, certification and licensing programs.

Alabama has 400 aviation and aerospace industries that employ more than 83,000 people, and the number is growing, according to Heinrich.

It’s good to see Auburn at the hub of the action as one of the key focal points in education and training for the next generation of industry leaders and workers.

It’s also good to see that students not sure or ready yet to dive into a four-year program such as Auburn’s will have two-year options to consider first.

The partnership on the surface sounds like a good move. Let’s hope it takes off as envisioned.

Original article can be found here: http://www.oanow.com

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