NTX Magazine Volume 4 - Page 65

INDUSTRY SPOTLIGHTS Education To sustain all that growth, North Texas has a network of educational opportunities to grow the next breed of pilot, engineer, mechanic and more. To prevent a shortfall in skilled, experienced job candidates, higher education institutions such as the University of North Texas have taken a proactive stance, offering courses that help train the next generation of aviation leaders. Dr. Terry Pohlen, associate professor and director of the Center for Logistics Education at the University of North Texas (UNT), says, “We’ve got that covered.” In 2011, UNT introduced its bachelor’s of science in Aviation Logistics, a program focusing on aviation in the transportation sector of the economy. The majority of the program’s enrollees are students focusing on the decision-making and supervision of everything required to lead a flying business, from planning flight schedules to managing safety and maintenance programs, to manufacturing aviation equipment and more. By 2015, more than 200 students will have graduated from this growing specialty, infusing the North Texas workforce with professionals who are passionate about the logistical aspect of an industry that only continues to take flight. Eighty-five percent of the graduates will be focused on everything that happens outside the cockpit. The other 15 percent? The pilots. By teaming with Tarrant County College (TCC), students obtain their flight training at TCC, which has a Part 141B program and then UNT offers the additional aviation-related coursework to get to a total of 60 hours in aviation and the four-year degree. Individuals would then receive an Airline Transport Pilot (ATP) rating after logging an additional 1,000 flying hours on their own and eventually fill that pilot seat. The University of Texas at Arlington (UTA) is initiating another specialty pilot bootcamp to help fill the workforce needs, and it’s bringing in some special people to do that: UTA is calling in the troops. A special program for some very honorable students seeks to put more boots on the ground in DFW with a special brand of expertise. In Fall 2014, UTA hosted a pilot program for veterans from across the country who are interested in the manufacturing sector. The program seeks approval from an organization called the Entrepreneurship Bootcamp for Veterans with Disabilities, a nationwide organization that offers training in entrepreneurship to post-9/11 veterans who have service-connected disabilities, designed to enable them to start and successfully grow their own business -- creating jobs not just for themselves, but also for those they eventually hire. These camps are currently offered by eight different universities within the U.S. More than 850 veterans have completed the training and have launched hundreds of companies with nearly 2,000 jobs created thus far. UTA plans to go full-scale with their program in 2015, drawing from key resources already in place at the university and will offer the bootcamp to veterans with and without disabilities. With a world-class entrepreneurship faculty led by Dr. Edmund Prater, program director of the Department of Information Systems and Operations Management at UTA, participants will sample a boot camp of opportunity. The UT Arlington Research Institute (UTARI), headed by General Rick Lynch (retired, U.S. Army) will focus on developing next-generation assistive technologies, including advanced manufacturing techniques such as 3-D printing. Because of an agreement with the U.S. Navy through the Arlington Chamber of Commerce, students will have access to hundreds of Naval Research patents for the development of business plans for commercialization. Additionally, students receive assistance in refining products and making them easier to build from the Texas Manufacturing Assistance Center, a federally funded program, and from the Texas National Institute Standards and Technology Manufacturing Extension Partnership, which provides expertise in prototyping and design for manufacturing capabilities