Report by Paula Antolini
March 24, 2017 8:12PM EDT
Rep. Will Duff Supports Aviation Education and Jobs, Bill Now Heads to House of Representatives
HARTFORD- State Rep. Will Duff (R-2) strongly supported a proposal to move the Connecticut’s aviation maintenance technical schools out from under the State Technical High School System, and under the Regional Community-Technical College System.
The intent of the legislation is it will make aviation maintenance students eligible for scholarships and grants, as well as place a program that requires a high school diploma more appropriately in a college system. The legislators noted that the aviation schools have suffered from budget reductions, causing a threat of tuition to rise from $6,600 to $26,000.
The bill, HB-6583, An Act Transferring Connecticut’s Aviation Maintenance Technician Schools to the Regional Community-Technical College System passed the Higher Education and Employment Advancement committee unanimously and it now heads to the House of Representatives for a full floor debate.
“We must remember that the investment that the state makes in supporting the aviation program helps ensure that aviation business stays in Connecticut has a constant supply of new technicians, said Rep. Will Duff. “Retaining these highly trained students in Connecticut, and having them working with Connecticut aviation companies can only improve the quality of life for everyone in the state.”
Currently, the educational training schools located at Sikorsky Memorial Airport and Brainard Airport, respectively, provides Connecticut residents’ highly-skilled employment opportunities at Connecticut based aviation companies. After a student completes the requirements at either of the schools and passes all of the FAA examinations each student will be certified as an Airframe and Powerplant Mechanic. Connecticut has several private and public airports that need a sustainable level of mechanics to service the aircraft.
“I fully support transferring this two-year program to the Regional Community-Technical College System. These students have already graduated high school and are pursuing a Certificate Degree. This gives students a better chance to succeed and permits them the opportunity for an Associate’s Degree at a Regional Community-Technical College,” said Rep. Duff.
Photo (top of page): U.S. Air Force Senior Airman Quori Allard, a crew chief from the New Jersey Air National Guard’s 177th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron, does final checks on an F-16C Fighting Falcon at Atlantic City Air National Guard Base, N.J., March 7, 2015. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Tech. Sgt. Matt Hecht/Released)