Greenville Technical College has partnered with the South Carolina Army National Guard to open a joint training facility at the South Carolina Technology and Aviation Center.
The 95,225-square-foot facility, located at 915 Perimeter Road, now houses the S.C. Army National Guard Readiness Center and Greenville Tech’s aircraft maintenance technology and truck driver training programs, according to a news release.
“Partnerships allow Greenville Technical College to serve our area’s employers as we ensure that students have the education needed to succeed,” said Dr. Keith Miller, president of Greenville Technical College, in the release. “This arrangement with the South Carolina Army National Guard is one that we are particularly proud of, as it means that we come together to make optimal use of space, to meet a training requirement for Guard personnel, to give students the skills they can put to work right away, and to see that the aviation industry in our area is well supported.”
Miller added that the new $22 million training facility would allow Greenville Tech to expand enrollment in its aircraft maintenance technology program, which is currently licensed by the Federal Aviation Administration for 120 students.
The aircraft maintenance technology program provides students with the skills needed to become aircraft maintenance technicians, according to Carl Washburn, department head of aviation and trucking at Greenville Technical College.
Greenville Tech currently offers certificates, an associate degree, and a bachelor’s degree, according to Washburn. Students pursuing a certificate can study airframe, power plant, or avionics. Each program takes about 18 months to complete. The associate degree path, on the other hand, takes about two years to complete and requires students to complete 1,000 hours in lab/classroom work and 1,000 working on airplanes.
Washburn said the new joint training facility provides lab space for students and includes a large hangar space that can house the program’s 12 fixed-wing aircraft, including a 1983 Falcon 10 Dassault aircraft recently donated by Spinx Inc., and one helicopter.
Greenville Tech will also offer training to South Carolina Army National Guard personnel, supporting their need for qualified airframe and power plant technicians to work on Lakota helicopters, according to the release. The training will be offered to the National Guard Bureau as a consolidated regional or national training solution.
The aircraft maintenance technology program will use the facility during the week, while the South Carolina Army National Guard will use it on the weekends, said U.S. Army Col. Andrew Batten, state aviation officer, in the release.
“Within this new facility, the S.C. Army National Guard and Greenville Technical College established a program that fulfills National Guard aircraft maintenance training requirements while addressing the civilian aviation workforce demand associated with South Carolina’s growing aerospace industry,” he added. “Combining this National Guard Readiness Center housing multiple aviation units with the Aircraft Maintenance Technology program provides greater utilization of the facilities and thus greater value to our state. Additionally, this partnership will enable our soldiers to obtain an associate degree in addition to their FAA Airframe and Powerplant Technician certification.”