12/09/09 — WCC gets grant to improve aviation systems offerings

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WCC gets grant to improve aviation systems offerings

By Staff Reports
Published in News on December 9, 2009 1:46 PM

Wayne Community College has been awarded a $550,000 grant to enhance its aviations systems technology program.

The grant is part of a $4.2 million award from the Golden LEAF Foundation to address some of North Carolina's urgent work force needs in the aerospace industry through its Golden LEAF Opportunities for Work in Aerospace Manufacturing Initiative.

"The Golden LEAF Board of Directors established the GLOW-AM Initiative to connect the aerospace industry's workforce needs with viable and sustainable job opportunities for North Carolinians," said Dan Gerlach, Golden LEAF President. "The Foundation is interested in building the talent, knowledge and skill of citizens, especially in tobacco- dependent, economically distressed and rural communities, to take full advantage of available job opportunities like those in the aerospace industry."

WCC received the $550,000 portion for its "Alliance of Eastern Region Organizations (AERO)-Wayne" project, officials said. The project will incorporate state-of-practice equipment in the Aviation Systems Technology program that supports current industry practices and technologies used in aircraft manufacturing and maintenance, repair and overhaul industries.

Through the funding, the college will be able to better meet its goals of addressing technological advances and the changing skill needs of aerospace and aviation businesses by crafting rigorous and timely curricula, providing training, creative a competitive edge for those seeking careers in aerospace and aviation in the state, and promoting economic development.

"This region of North Carolina is starting to see growth in the aerospace industry and WCC's Aviation Systems Technology program has to be ready to meet the needs of Spirit AeroSystems, AAR Manufacturing and other regional industries," said Dr. Kay Albertson, WCC president. "Thanks to the Golden LEAF Foundation's aerospace manufacturing initiative, we will be able to make equipment, instruction and hangar upgrades that will enhance our airframe and power plant courses."