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Grant awarded to inspire next generation of aviation workers

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Students at Greenville Technical Charter High School learned last week their school is one of 17 in the country selected by American Airlines to receive a Flight Education Grant, designed to inspire aviation’s next workforce.

The grant will fund equipment and related costs for flights that use unmanned aerial systems, according to a news release. These flights were created to motivate prospective aviation students with an initial and authentic flight experience, according to a news release.

American Airlines said in the news release that the company is “honored to be a part of what’s going on at GTCHS. Judging by the dedication of their teachers and school administrators, we are certain these kids have bright aviation futures ahead and look forward to seeing them in the industry soon.”

The charter school is one of 70 schools in the U.S. and the only high school in South Carolina selected by the Aircraft Owners and Pilot Association to offer the association’s STEM curriculum, a comprehensive four-year program aligned to rigorous standards in science, technology, engineering and math, the news release said. In addition to future pilots, the program provides a pathway for future engineers and aircraft technicians. 

“The flight and aerodynamic theory you use to train your high school students has proven to give your students a head start in our aviation program,” Carl Washburn, head of the Greenville Technical College aircraft maintenance department, said in the release.

The 2019 Boeing Pilot and Technician Outlook forecast predicts that 804,000 new civil aviation pilots and 769,000 new maintenance technicians will be needed to fly and maintain the world’s fleet over the next 20 years. 

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