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STC expands its aviation offerings
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SAVANNAH – This summer, Savannah Technical College will add two technical certificate programs in aviation, bringing the total to three industry-specific programs offered at the college’s Savannah Campus. The new programs are Luxury Craft Cabinetmaking and Aircraft Exteriors. They will be offered in addition to Aircraft Structural Assembly. All are short-term certificate programs.

“We’ve seen tremendous industry interest in these programs,” said  STC President Dr. C. B. Rathburn. “Our partnerships with Gulfstream and Savannah Air Center have created tremendous employment opportunities for our students and for the community.”

Both companies are offering guaranteed interviews for students who successfully complete the 14-week instructional program in aircraft assembly. Each has other employment options unique to its respective business development needs — Gulfstream in warehousing, and Savannah Air in exterior finishes.

Since Gulfstream announced its 1,100-job expansion in March 2006, the college has been offering aviation classes to its full capacity, producing more than 65 graduates in aircraft structural assembly. Savannah Air Center will be creating 100 new jobs at its hangar that is expected to open in December.

Offering these additional programs will allow the college to more than double its instructional efforts in support of this industry. It is anticipated that STC will offer as many as three classes each in aircraft assembly and cabinetry under the leadership of Ryan Weimer, department head, Aviation Technology.  

Weimer, a former Navy aircrewman and aircraft mechanic and now navy reservist, was previously employed by Gulfstream Aerospace Corporation as an engineer. He is a Ph.D. student in business administration with specialization in Aeronautical Science at North Central University.

He holds a Master of Aeronautical Science with specialization in aviation safety and aeronautics from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, a bachelor’s degree in aeronautics with minors in business administration and aviation safety from Embry-Riddle and a certification in airframe and powerplant license from Everett Community College.

Savannah Technical College’s goal is to build an Aviation Training Center at its Crossroads Technology Campus.  The college has recently acquired three aircraft — a Bonanza, an Aztec and a Cessna that will be key teaching components of its aviation maintenance technician (AMT) program.  In addition to the AMT program, the FAA certified airframe and powerplant program will also be offered.  

Professional continuing education classes will round out the aviation department and provide the capability for aviation-related assessments.