Polytech School Of Aviation Maintenance Set To Take Off

DOVER, Del. (AP) — A “group effort” involving the Polytech School of Aviation Maintenance is set to take off.

The school will provide three adult training and certification programs for those in various stages of their careers. The first class - an Airframe and PowerPlant certification prep class - begins Monday and will run for two weeks. Two other sessions will follow - one at the end of February, the other in April.

All 30 slots combined in the three classes are filled, project coordinator John Morris said.

At a ribbon-cutting ceremony, Polytech School District Superintendent Dr. Amelia Hodges took the scissors and then spoke on just who joined in the process along the way.

“This has been an absolute partnership and we couldn’t have done it without the fabulous partners who have helped us out — Delaware River and Bay Authority, Kent County Levy Court, Dover Air Force Base, Delaware State University, the (state) Department of Transportation, Kent Economic Partnership and the Central Delaware Chamber of Commerce,” she said.

“It’s really been a group effort and we’re really grateful for all of the cooperation.”

The other two classes, which will debut next fall, include a pre-apprenticeship program in general aviation and a registered apprenticeship program in aviation maintenance for those currently working in the field and seeking skill development training and career advancement.

Mr. Morris said he knows of only one other similar facility in the Northeast Corridor in Long Island, New York.

The facility is thus well-placed, Central Delaware Chamber of Commerce President Dina Vendetti said. She’s an honorary commander of the 373rd Training Squadron at Dover Air Force Base and members explained to her that “to get training like this before this facility opened, they had to go to Tennessee.

“They had to take two weeks’ vacation and they had to cover all their costs to get that kind of training. So now this is open and they can come in and do that training and certification right here.”

Ms. Vendetti spoke to an industry professional who told her “’You’d better be ready because people are going to coming here from as far north as Maine all the way down the coast because this will be closer than Tennessee.

“This program is going to be filling a need. To have it attached to Polytech is a really big deal and it’s going to be another whole branch in their adult education where they can get people trained up and back in the workforce. That’s huge now with all the shortages and any kind of training and certification that they can get done is a big deal and certainly a good look for our area.”

In a news release, Kent Economic Partnership Executive Director Linda Parkowski said “We are thrilled to have new training programs available to offer to Kent County.

“The demand for skilled aviation maintenance technicians is on the rise, and we believe that this program will provide the community with a unique and valuable skill set that will set them up for success in their future careers and help grow the local workforce.”

Also, according to Levy Court Vice President Allan Angel in the news release, “ ... with the technological advances coming into Kent County, this is just another feather in our cap in our educational system. This program is another tool in our toolbox.”

The Polytech School of Aviation Maintenance is at 26 Starlifter Ave. next to Dover Air Force Base. Kent Levy Court has leased the building to Polytech for $1 annually.