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Middletown will be training site for this ‘gap’ in aviation industry

Those interested in aviation technology can have their careers take off at Cincinnati State’s Middletown campus.

The city and Middletown Area Development Enterprise Inc. (MADE) are investing $72,000 to help establish the Cincinnati State Middletown Avionics Center. The new lab will provide hands-on training on up-to-date avionics systems.

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Rick Pearce, secretary/treasurer of MADE, said investigating in the program was “a no brainer” because of the demand for aviation positions.

The new program was announced Tuesday at the Cincinnati State Board of Trustees meeting, which was held at Cincinnati State Middletown.

Doug Bowling, dean of Cincinnati State’s Center for Innovative Technologies, said starting this fall, individuals interested in a career in the avionics industry will be able obtain the fundamental skills they need as part of a new avionics technician training program. He said avionics technicians install, repair, and maintain electronic components such as the navigation or communications systems found on various types of aircraft including helicopters, airplanes, jets, or drones.

Bowling said there’s “a gap” in the aviation industry between the aging workforce and those entering the profession.

“A big need” is how he described the workforce demand.

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The entry-level salary for avionics technicians in this region averages $43,000, median pay is $65,000, and experienced workers make up to $85,000, he said. In addition, some employers, such as Air Wisconsin in Dayton, are offering signing bonuses (in this case $2,000) for avionics technicians.

Middletown City Manager Doug Adkins said the city sits at the center of the Southwest Ohio aerospace corridor, so it made sense to put together this partnership to meet the “growing demand” for workers in this industry.

The new program will offer a variety of courses in avionics for students with different levels of experience — from students with no experience, to incumbent workers and veterans with experience but no FAA mechanics license, to individuals who are already FAA-certified aviation mechanics and seeking specialized avionics skills.

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Students completing the avionics training in Middletown will be eligible to sit for the NCATT Aircraft Electronics Technician (AET) Certificate test, Bowling said. Depending on a student’s experience, the program could take 10 to 30 weeks to complete, he said.

Students interested in enrolling in Cincinnati State Middletown’s new Avionics Technician program can get more information by calling 513-217-3700, or by going online at www.cincinnatistate.edu/contact-us/campuses/Middletown.

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