Grant boosts GTCC aviation training
A growing aviation program at Guilford Technical Community College will get some help from the Cemala Foundation this fall.
GTCC President Randy Parker said the foundation has given the college $932,500 to expand aviation programs. The grant will pay $795,000 to expand the aviation program and $137,500 for Cemala Aviation Scholarships.
GTCC will use the grant to increase enrollment and faculty positions in the Aviation Systems Technology and Aviation Electronics Technology programs. Graduates will be able to move to jobs at several aviation companies surrounding Piedmont Triad International Airport.
“The foundation’s gift increases GTCC’s capacity to train technicians to an unprecedented level for what we have determined is a highly productive future for the private aviation industry in Guilford County and the Triad,” Parker said. “Guilford Tech owns an exemplary record for stewardship, and we will manage the Cemala gift to produce the greatest value for our students, their families and the communities we serve.”
The Cemala grant will allow GTCC to add 25 students to the AST program beginning this fall and 20 students to the AET program beginning in fall 2014. At least 90 additional students will be able to enroll over a three-year period.
“TIMCO and other employers in the Triad aviation community see ongoing opportunities for continued growth in the coming years. This important grant for GTCC can help support our need for highly skilled men and women in well-paying jobs,” said Kevin Carter, CEO of TIMCO Aviation Services.
To accommodate the estimated enrollment growth, GTCC will add four new faculty positions over a four-year period and additional training equipment will be bought.
Based in Greensboro and founded by Ceasar Cone II and his wife Martha, the Cemala Foundation was chartered in 1986. Cone was a former chairman of the Airport Authority and for years purchased land around the airport and held it until the airport could buy it.
Needs: Although there are more than 6,200 people employed in the Triad aviation sector, company executives say they need more workers to meet customer demands.
Expansion: Since 2006, enrollment in GTCC’s aviation programs has increased from 150 to 337 students in 2012.