Rome, N.Y. - 16 students graduated Friday afternoon from the Mohawk Valley Community College Airframe and Powerplant Technology Program in Rome and are all expected to be employed within the next 30 days.
Program Technical Assistant Ray Martin says 12 of the 16 already have job offers and the other four are expected to have an offer within the next 30 days, "The sky is the limit. 12 months and they've got a career."
Program Director Walter Constantini says the reason these graduates are in such high demand is the age of the current aircraft maintenance workforce, "The industry is experiencing a major retirement wave right now. Baby boomers, post Vietnam era, are retiring and there are not enough people coming into the trades to replace them."
Constantini says some of the students he is seeing enroll in the one year program already have some college under their belt, but they just didn't know what they wanted to do, until they heard about this program. He says besides the love of airplanes and the ability to work with them on a day to day basis, the career also offers a good salary, "Salaries start anywhere from $35,000 to $45,000 a year and they accelerate rapidly from there. Six figures is not out of the question."
Of the 16 who graduated on Friday, two are females, including Michelle Conklin of Washingtonville in Orange County.
Conklin says her dad got she and her sister involved in planes at a young age, and she is one of the people in the MVCC program who started taking classes at another college until found this program, "I found out about this school at an Air Show at Stewart International Airport. So, I saw them a couple years in a row, thinking about it and I finally signed up."
Conklin is considering job offers at Stewart International Airport and also in Albany.
If you are interested in the MVCC Airframe and Powerplant Technology Program, you can look into enrolling by contacting the MVCC Admissions Office at (315) 792-5354.
The next available start date is May 1st.