Delta announces new WV aviation maintenance education partnership

Education

William Smith, Delta Air Line’s director of learning and development for Technical Operations, announces that the air carrier will provide educational support for the Aviation Maintenance Technology (AMT) program being launched by Marshall University and Mountwest Community & Technical College with support from the Robert C. Byrd Institute. Smith spoke March 26 during groundbreaking for the AMT program at Huntington Tri-State Airport.

HUNTINGTON, WV (WOWK)—On Friday, Delta Air Lines announced that the new Marshall University/Mountwest Community & Technical College Aviation Maintenance Technology (AMT) program will be designated as a partner educational institution.

The collaboration is a first-of-its-kind collaboration for the region—and first-of-its-kind for West Virginia. It will help give students a quality technical education to prepare them for the growing number of jobs in the aviation industry. Existing AMT schools only have the capacity to produce around 65% of the aviation mechanics and technicians the industry needs.

This program will be part of a select group of about 45 other AMT schools around the country that have also received the endorsement of Delta Tech Ops, which is the maintenance training division of the second-largest air carrier in the nation.

Delta’s director of learning and development for Technical Operations, William Smith, announced the partnership during a groundbreaking ceremony at Huntington Tri-State Airport for the AMT program on March 26. The program will launch in the spring of 2022 pending FAA approval.

“On behalf of Delta Air Lines, I’d like to tell you how excited and honored we are to be part of this partnership,” said Smith, a native of Rowlesburg in Preston County. “The timing for this institution could not be better. The industry demand is somewhere between half a million and a million people over the next 10 to 20 years.”

With support from the Robert C. Byrd Institute (RCBI), the Marshall/Mountwest program will offer a dual associate of applied science degree from both institutions and will give students an opportunity to earn FAA certifications and specialized credentials.

The Marshall/Mountwest program, with support from the Robert C. Byrd Institute (RCBI), will offer a dual associate of applied science degree from both institutions and provide students the opportunity to earn FAA certifications as well as specialized credentials.

“We couldn’t be happier to be partnering with this school and I congratulate you on your current milestone,” Smith said. “(Delta) will be here to support you. We will support you with parts, we will support you with industry best practices, we’ll support you with tooling, we’ll support you with expertise, we will grow your curriculum, we will grow your students, we will grow your staff.”

The president of Marshall, Jerome Gilbert, praised this partnership, saying that the program will help meet the needs of the industry.

“The support from Delta for our new program is very much appreciated,” Gilbert said. “Industry expertise is essential to the success of any higher education endeavor and we are grateful for their generous backing. It is an honor to be partnered with Delta.” 

To learn more about the AMT program, contact Jim Smith, interim director, at jsmith@rcbi.org or visit www.marshall.edu/aviation.

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