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Empowering Charlotte-Mecklenburg students on an upward career path in the aviation industry

In a world increasingly reliant on aviation, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools students have been introduced to a career in aviation maintenance where the skies are the limit. Recognizing the need to bridge the gap between classroom learning and hands-on training, the district has partnered with the Aviation Institute of Maintenance (AIM) to offer four classes over five months. The dual-enrollment training course can give students a direct career path to the aircraft maintenance hangars of American Airlines, its regional carriers Piedmont and PSA, as well as connections to major aircraft manufacturers like Boeing. 

On Saturday, July 29, more than 20 students and their families had an opportunity to explore the new program at AIM’s open house. Students and families explored AIM’s training facility, met instructors and learned about the program’s curriculum and admission requirements. Juniors and seniors will be allowed to complete up to four courses at no cost – an $11,000 savings – while still earning credit toward a high school diploma and accelerating their Federal Aviation Administration certification training time by five months. Employment opportunities will be available for students upon successful completion of the program.

Team members from American, Piedmont and PSA were on-site at the event, as well as Charlotte-Mecklenburg Board of Education Chair Elyse Dashew and Board member Jennifer De La Jara.

The AIM program starts Tuesday, Aug. 29, the day after the first day of school at CMS. Classes will be at AIM’s Charlotte campus, 7421 E. Independence Blvd, and students may opt for daytime or evening courses.

Qualified personnel for the aviation industry will be in high demand through the next 20 years, according to Boeing’s 2023 Pilot and Technician Outlook. The report projects that 690,000 maintenance technicians, along with 649,000 pilots and 938,000 cabin crew members, will be needed to support the global commercial fleet.