The city of Middletown and Cincinnati State are now partners in an avionics technician program that will be housed in the city.
Middletown City Council on Tuesday approved an emergency ordinance for an agreement between the city and Cincinnati State to develop and operate the avionics technician program.
City officials previously discussed with City Council funding of the Cincinnati State Avionics program at the Middletown Campus. Negotiations have been completed and this Agreement allows the program to be offered for the fall 2018 semester. Middletown will make a onetime contribution of $66,000 to purchase software and hardware necessary to offer the Avionics program in Middletown. MADE will contribute an additional $6,000 towards the program.
The city is hoping this program develops a new workforce stream for anticipated future job development at the Middletown Regional Airport. The funds will be spent from the existing Economic Development budget.
Council was asked to pass the emergency ordinance so preparations can begin immediately as the fall semester will be starting in the next few months, and allow the purchase and set up of the new program in time for fall class start dates.
Avionics technicians install, repair and maintain electronic components such as navigation or communications systems found on different aircraft including helicopters, airplanes, jets and drones. They also work in the aerospace parts industry, according to Cincinnati State.
Earlier this year, City Manager Doug Adkins said Cincinnati State was interested in developing an aviation maintenance programs with designs to eventually become a fully certified program to supply workers for FAA certified maintenance positions. Adkins said this would be modeled after the program Cincinnati State operates at its in Harrison campus and the adjacent Cincinnati State West Airport, which the college owns.
He said the proposed program envisions starting a drone flight training program this fall and a drone repair program in spring 2019.
Adkins said there will be an increased demand for electronic maintenance technicians as more drones are becoming more commonplace. He said there is already a push as Magellan Aerospace is planning an expansion that will require up to 40 additional workers by 2012-2022.
Avionics technicians are listed as an in-demand career in Ohio with entry-level salary positions averaging at $43,000, the release said. Experienced workers make an average of $85,000, according to Cincinnati State.