If we don’t use it, we could lose it

Published 12:00 am Saturday, January 4, 2014

A few miles from town, there is campus where high school students can, with effort and the investment of some time, begin to earn college credits.

Even more amazingly, the state will waive tuition for students who meet minimum qulifications and have the recommendation of their school.

Granted, earning an airframe certificate isn’t for everyone. But for those who are mechnically inclined and understand math and science principles, this could be the beginning of an excellent career.

The classes, offered by the Alabama Aviation Center on the campus of South Alabama Regional Airport, were set up several years ago in an effort to encourage local students to pursue the certifications needed to work in businesses located in the SARA industrial complex. And while local work isn’t guaranteed, just before Christmas, instructor David Craft estimated there were almost 1,000 jobs available in this field nation wide.

Given those numbers – job availability, free tuition, and average pay that starts at $14 per hour – it seems there’d be a waiting list to enroll in these classes. Despite lots of efforts, the idea hasn’t quite taken hold.

No, airframe certification isn’t for everyone, but neither can everyone be a doctor. This program provides an excellent opportunity for local students, and its an opportunity we don’t want to lose.

Please spread the word to parents of high school students that this high-tech program is available very, very close to home. It could be a career-making thing you do by telling them.