Md. airline donates engine to Polytech
DOVER – Polytech Adult Education received a retired De Havilland Dash-8 engine from Piedmont Airlines, a Maryland-based airline and subsidiary of American Airlines, for the school’s educational aviation program. The engine was unveiled with U.S. Senator Chris Coons and Congresswoman Lisa Blunt Rochester (both D-Del.) last week.
“Delaware has a first-class workforce because our schools have a great history of working closely with businesses to anticipate their labor needs,” Senator Tom Carper (D-Del.) said in a statement. “This new partnership between Polytech’s aviation maintenance program and Piedmont Airlines will help ensure our students are learning the skills to make them ready for the job.”
Polytech School of Aviation Maintenance previously offered turboprops and online photos to prepare students for the Federal Aviation Administration aviation mechanic certificate exam. The new Dash-8 engine provides Polytech with more opportunities to provide its students hands-on experience with the kind of technologies on which they are preparing to build a career.
“The Polytech School of Aviation Maintenance is very grateful to Piedmont Airlines for the donation of a turboprop engine,” Polytech Adult Education Assistant Director Jeremy McEntire said. “This is a critical piece of equipment that we were missing. Our students are required to know about these engines and will be tested on them for their FAA exams. Until now, the best we could offer was to tell them about turboprops and show them photos online. That is good, but not the same. The engine from Piedmont is a game changer for our students and our program.”
The aviation maintenance mechanic apprenticeship program consists of five courses over five semesters for airframe and general aircraft maintenance.
“Like many industries across our economy, the aviation industry continues to feel the impact of workforce shortages of skilled workers. In this case, it’s a shortage of qualified pilots, mechanics, and technicians,” Congresswoman Blunt Rochester said.
Polytech and Piedmont are some of the partners working to connect Delawareans to careers in the aviation sector, which currently has high demand for more workers.
“At Piedmont, we firmly believe in the power of workforce development opportunities that provide hands-on experiences in helping to shape the future of aviation,” Eric Morgan, CEO of Piedmont Airlines, said. “Today, we take great pride in donating an engine to the Polytech School of Aviation Maintenance, knowing that it will serve as more than just a piece of equipment. It symbolizes our commitment to excellence and our desire to invest in career training in the communities in which we live and work.”