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Nashua Community College gets FAA grant to expand crucial aviation technology program


Nashua Community College, which offers the only aviation technology program in New Hampshire, as been awarded a grant from the Federal Aviation Administration to expand its program. (Courtesy photo/Nashua Community College)

WASHINGTON, D.C. Nashua Community College will receive $456,051 to expand its aviation technical and mechanical job training program, which trains workers for an industry that’s facing a critical shortage.

The grant was funded by the FAA Reauthorization Act of 2018, which is aimed at bolstering aviation job training as the industry works to fill a growing skilled worker gap.

The money will allow NCC to expand its workforce development program to train students in maintenance and production of aircraft mechanics, Lucille Jordan, NCC president said. Students earning associate of science degrees in aviation technology are positioned to get jobs in airplane manufacturing and aviation maintenance, Jordan said.

NCC is the only college in the state that offers an FAA-approved aviation technology program, which restarted last summer after a one-year hiatus.

“Not only does [the program] fill a critical need in the industry, but the Aviation Technology degree is a great way for students to access a lifelong career pathway right here in New Hampshire,” Vice President of Academic Affairs Robyn Griswold said at the time.

In announcing the grant, New Hampshire’s congressional delegation said the funding will provide crucial job training for an industry that’s seeking skilled workers, as well as job opportunities for New Hampshire residents. All four members of the delegation supported the funding.

An industry study found that by 2027, there will be 27% fewer aircraft maintenance workers than needed in the U.S. Aviation maintenance jobs have a median wage of $33.40 an hour and $69,470 annually, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Median means that half of those doing the work make more, and half make less.

“This funding will help ensure that Granite Staters can access the necessary training that will help them lead the next generation of aviation technicians,” said Sen. Maggie Hassan, who helped develop the 2018 FAA Reauthorization act as a member of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee.  “With this grant, Nashua Community College can help provide students right here in New Hampshire with the skills that they need to get good-paying, in-demand jobs in the 21st century economy.”

Rep. Chris Pappas, NH-1st District said, “It is critically important that New Hampshire continues to create and maintain a modern workforce that meets the needs of our employers and helps families grow and succeed in this modern economy. These federal funds heading to Nashua Community College will help expand technical and mechanical aviation job training programs and provide more opportunities for Granite Staters.”


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