Skilled to Work: Aviation training meets industry needs

Published: Jul. 18, 2023 at 1:25 PM EDT|Updated: Jul. 18, 2023 at 5:43 PM EDT
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SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) - Savannah is home to one of the biggest business jet manufacturers in the world and Savannah Tech is training the future aviation technicians and mechanics for those planes right now.

“Already got a job lined up in less than two weeks out and I’m just ready to be done,” Elijah Woodal said.

Woodal is in the latest class of Savannah Tech students to complete the school’s training in Aviation Maintenance.

“When I realized how hands on this work was and actually having training to do it, I really enjoyed it and I just found a passion for it,” Woodal said.

Woodal’s part of the 8th co-hort to finish since the school opened the Aviation Training Center ten years ago. The 30,000 square foot facility at the school’s Crossroads campus was a requirement to offer the FAA certified Aviation Maintenance training.

The program prepares students for certificates with Airframe and Powerplant ratings, or A&P for short.

“Everyone that I talked to in aviation, when I tell them I’m going for my A&P license they say ‘You’re set. You’re good to go,’” Woodal said.

The Aviation Maintenance program is a two-year course, but other programs are designed to be much quicker.

“Most of our students will get done in about eight weeks doing that. They will come in and within eight weeks’ time be done and they can go to work,” Savannah Tech Dean of Aviation, Tal Loos said.

The school offers a variety of certificates in aircraft structural technology, from assembly to wiring the plane’s electrical components, creating custom luxury cabinets and even upholstery and trim for the seats.

“Our people will be in the classroom, learn a little bit of theory and then they move to the lab and actually do the hands on and mimic what they’re going to have to do on the job. So again, when they walk out, they’re prepared and ready to go to work,” Loos said.

Adan Rojas is already working at Gulfstream. He saw the training as a way to expand his skill set.

“I go to work, and I see these aircraft. I always see people working and man I want to do that, you know, so that’s what really drove me here. There’s more to this than just wheels. You know, I wanted to learn. I want to do more,” Rojas said.

And as the industry continues to evolve, the Aviation Training Center is positioned to offer more in the future.