TAKING ASPIRING AVIATION PROFESSIONALS UNDER OUR WING
Students learn to work on a wide range of aircraft, from small general aviation aircraft to transport category aircraft. (Source: Pierpont Community and Technical College)
From the technicians who ensure aircraft are airworthy to the pilots that fly passengers around the globe and the engineers behind technological advancements in flight, plus countless others, the aviation industry is one big family that shares a rich history of innovation, quality workmanship, and a passion for helping the next generation enter this exciting community.
At MHIRJ, our people are passionate about sharing their industry knowledge and being mentors to future industry professionals. One such example is Anthony Hinton, Head of Service Centers for MHIRJ Aviation Group in Bridgeport, West Virginia. As a member of the Board of Trustees at Pierpont Community & Technical College, Anthony collaborates with fellow trustees in developing strategic goals, objectives, and policies related to Pierpont’s Aviation Maintenance Technology, A.A.S. program.
FURTHER DEVELOPING A WORLD-CLASS AMP PROGRAM
Pierpont offers the only Federal Aviation Administration-approved training program in the state of West Virginia in aviation maintenance technology that leads to careers with some of the largest international and local companies in the aviation industry seeking certified aviation professionals. The aviation program focuses on the areas of knowledge qualifying students to take the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Part 147 Airframe and Powerplant (AMP) certification examinations. The technical areas of study focus on mechanical, electrical, hydraulic, pneumatic, and propulsion systems used on modern aircraft. Graduates of the program are qualified for entry-level positions to work as AMP Technicians. To help bring more people to the market sooner, Pierpont has also launched a fast-track AMP program where students study for 11 months to qualify for their Airframe license or Powerplant license.
MEETING AN EVER-GROWING INDUSTRY NEED
As tens of thousands aviation professionals reach retirement age over the next decade, educational outreach and career pathway programs will be critical to inspiring and recruiting the next generation. According to industry outlooks, it’s estimated that 739,000 new technicians will be needed worldwide over the next 20 years. With such significant growth opportunities on the horizon for the aviation industry, Pierpont and the State of West Virginia are further positioned to build their reputation as an aviation center. To that point, Anthony is currently collaborating with Pierpont on ways to increase enrollment in the program from 100 students per year to 200 students annually.
OPENING THE DOOR TO A WORLD OF OPPORTUNITIES
As Anthony has experienced, a career in aviation can open the door to a world of opportunities. Prior to joining MHIRJ, he worked with leading companies such as Pratt & Whitney, UTC Aerospace Systems, and Collins Aerospace to name but a few. “An Airframe and Powerplant license from Pierpont is your ticket to the dance,” said Anthony. “How you dance when you get there is completely up to you. Once you have your license you can work virtually anywhere in the world in aviation production or in a Maintenance, Repair, and Overhaul (MRO) facility, or you can be a traveling Maintenance Repair Technician (MRT).”
BUILDING ON A LONG-TERM RELATIONSHIP
Anthony’s involvement with the college is the latest step in a long-term relationship between MHIRJ and Pierpont. But the commitment to developing the next generation of aviation technicians doesn’t stop there. In addition to having MHIRJ technicians teach at Pierpont, MHIRJ itself offers a 3-year internship program where attendees get hands-on experience at the Bridgeport facility and receive their AMP license after three years.
A LASTING LEGACY
Helping to develop fulfilling careers within the aviation industry and bringing new people into the fold is an honor and a privilege shared by many in aerospace. For Anthony who was born and raised in Bridgeport, it’s also very personal. “I’m excited to be back in West Virginia and to invest in the community where we operate,” said Anthony. “To help West Virginia become an aviation center and feed the futures of many. That’s what I want my legacy to be.”