Baton Rouge Metropolitan Airport, April 28, 2011. Baton Rouge Community College will unveil its largest donation in school history at a ceremony this Friday, April 28, 2011, at the Baton Rouge Metropolitan Airport at 11:00 AM.
The college got a huge lift from the New Orleans Hornets, who donated a Boeing 727 jet to the college for use in its new Aviation program developed in co-operation with the Baton Rouge Metropolitan Airport, the City of Baton Rouge, and Louisiana Economic Development. The program will cover airframe and power-plant (A&P) maintenance, as well as the servicing of avionics.
"This is a tremendous gift,” BRCC Chancellor Myrtle E. B. Dorsey said. "We are deeply grateful to the New Orleans Hornets for their contribution toward our work to expand the educational opportunities available to our students.”
"The entire Hornets organization is excited to continue our commitment to giving back by providing such a unique asset to the students at Baton Rouge Community College,” said Hornets President Hugh Weber. "As Louisiana’s hometown team, we are honored that we can leave a lasting legacy that will enhance the education of students for many years to come.”
BRCC is currently in the process of obtaining the required approvals from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) for its Airframe and Power Plant Maintenance programs. The goal of the programs will be to prepare students to take the FAA licensure examination upon completion; an FAA license is required in order to perform independent work on aircraft equipment and approve its return to service. The jet will play a vital role in students’ practical coursework by providing them with a reliable, prevailing model of aircraft that has become a standard of the aviation industry.
"We have worked to secure an aviation technology school for many years," stated Anthony Marino, Director of Aviation at the Baton Rouge Metropolitan Airport. "The new BRCC A & P School will provide a much needed program to supply the aviation industry with trained mechanics and offer new career opportunities for Baton Rouge area residents. This school will fill an aviation mechanic training void in our area, and put Baton Rouge in a better position to attract aviation-related industries that need a skilled workforce."
According to the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics, job growth for aircraft and avionics service technicians is expected to grow about as fast as the average for all other occupations. In addition, many aviation maintenance personnel are expected to retire over the upcoming decade, and with passenger air traffic increasing due to an expanding population and a recovering economy, the need for aircraft mechanics and service technicians will grow accordingly.
"Louisiana FastStart and Baton Rouge Community and College are focused on providing a well-trained, talented stream of current and future employees to our Aviation partners,” said Jeff Lynn, Executive Director of Louisiana Economic Development FastStart. "Louisiana is sending a strong message to the Aviation Industry that Louisiana is the place to do business.”
BRCC’s Aviation program is projected to begin in the 2012 fall semester.