Written by The Business Journal Staff
Reedley College is receiving funds for its Aviation Maintenance Technology and Flight Science programs thanks to secured state funding.
Today Assemblymember Dr. Joaquin Arambula will present $1 million to Reedley College for the program. The funds were secured in the state’s budget through Arambula’s advocacy to help expand job training and career opportunities in the region.
“These unique Reedley College programs are at the forefront of technological advances being made in the fields of aviation maintenance and flight science. As a strong advocate for workforce development, I’m impressed by these programs,” said Arambula.
He said that Reedley College has a distinctive flight training program but has adapted the state-of-the-art skills needed for maintaining cleaner, next-generation aircraft. This adds another dimension of career opportunities that contribute to the economic growth of the Central Valley.
Reedley College will be able to significantly lower the cost of flight training to students with the purchase of airplanes since it will not have to pay current airplane leasing costs. That savings will be passed on to students. This cost reduction is the most effective method of increasing access to professional pilot career training for underrepresented and economically challenged residents of the Central San Joaquin Valley, said John Johnson, flight science program coordinator.
The formal announcement and presentation was made by Arambula with Reedley College President Jerry Buckley and Vice President of the State Center Community College District Board of Trustees Magdalena Gomez.
“This funding will make a tremendous difference for both our Aviation Maintenance Technician program and for Flight Sciences. Dr. Arambula’s generous support will help reduce the cost of these critical programs for students, while providing hands-on experience at our local Reedley Airport. This funding also will reinforce an existing vital partnership between Reedley College and the City of Reedley,” said Buckley.
Students will now be able to complete a portion of their training at Reedley Municipal Airport, allowing tasks such as the operation of jet engines and the taxi of live aircraft to be accomplished. These activities are limited on campus due to the lack of available equipment and space, plus they pose noise and safety concerns, said Jason Asman, aviation maintenance technology program instructor.
He said that moving these activities to the airport adds greater capability and provides an enhanced set of learning experiences that will better prepare students for the future work environment.
“The $1 million in funding from the State of California for Reedley College’s Aviation Maintenance Technology and Flight Science programs will improve the quality of those programs immensely,” said Johnson.