the BEACON Newspaper, Indiana 3-18web - Page 7

March 2018 THE BEACON Page 7A Cincinnati State is Meeting the Demand for Aviation Graduates A few of the engines students disassemble and reassem- ble as a part of their education. Ray Ellington, a former graduate from the program in 1985, is now the current Lab Technician as well as an adjunct teacher for over fifteen years. William Elfers, a Navy vet- eran and current student, working hard in the com- puter lab. Photos by Nicole Williams Provost Robbin Hoopes and Program Manager Jeff Wright. of this particular Harrison cam- pus is all classes are taught on site so you literally do not have to leave the building when completing the 110 credit hours. The campus also offers a high-end welding program. Veterans are especially welcomed as many possess hands-on experience and may be able to accelerate quickly through the program. William Elfers is a great example of an extremely bright student and a Navy veteran getting ready to graduate this upcom- ing August. Mr. Elfers retired from the Navy in April 2016 where he went on to assist with funerals at the Arlington National Cemetery in Virgin- ia. Mr. Elfers explains why he decided on this particular pro- gram: “I got a taste of aviation in the navy and enjoyed it. I also knew it translated into the real world. The best part of this particular program is that I learned sheet metal, woodworking, composite structures and everything me- chanical and electronic. I like the diversity and I can leave here without having obtained just one specialty skill.” On January 23, Cincinnati State showcased the Harrison Campus by giving the public a tour of the facilities, includ- ing the jet engine, avionics and welding labs. Following the tour, Mr. Wright spoke to the Cincinnati State Board of Trustees, touching on the dynamics of the growing pro- gram. Many leaders from the Harrison Community were in attendance and eager to learn more about the campus. It was during his speech that Mr. Wright was presented with a check for $860,000 from Scott A. Knabe estate to lift scholarship availabil- ity for the program. Scott Knabe was a graduate of the Cincinnati State Aviation Program and a former student of Mr. Wright’s. Mr. Knabe had stayed in touch with the school after his graduation, often coming to talk and con- nect with the newer students coming through the program. Mr. Knabe worked as a professional pilot when his plane went down and crashed into the Nantucket Sound in August of 2003. It was a hard loss for the aviation commu- nity but is an honor to receive this grant to elevate the pro- gram in his name. Also in attendance was Cincinnati State Provost, Robbin Hoopes. Mr. Hoopes spoke with confidence on the way the Avionics program is still emerging, while noting the fact that all of the faculty there have deep community roots. “A community college should always serve the com- munity they are in. There has to be an alignment of interest with the community.” Today many graduates of the pro- gram do still live in Harrison. One of those graduates is Matt Brielmaier, who graduated from the program in 2001 and now works at Lunken Airport with Executive Jet Manage- ment. Mr. Brielmaier recom- mends the program to anyone considering it. “You can’t beat all of t he hands-on learning.” Students interested in enrolling in Cincinnati State’s Aviation Program can get more information by call- ing the Cincinnati State West (Harrison) Campus at 513- 569-4970 or visit their web- site at cincinnatistate.edu. or night program. Graduates Continued from page 1A of the Aviation Maintenance become an adjunct profes- Program earn an Associate sor for Cincinnati State while of Applied Science degree continuing to grow his career and are prepared to take the at Comair, GE, Airborne Federal Aviation Administra- Express, Lockheed Martin tion (FAA) licensing tests for and Kroger Aviation. He then Airframe Mechanic and Power decided to return and teach Plant Mechanic. It is rare for full time at Cincinnati State in a college to offer the existing 1997, bringing a magnitude A&P Program which allows of experience with him. The new graduates to obtain federal aviation community is a tight certifications in both. Each one and Mr. Wright is only student then moves on to com- the third program manager plete 2 semesters of the co-op since the program began. Mr. curriculum. Mr. Wright points Wright’s dedication towards out one of the major bonuses the program is obvious in speaking to his co-workers and staff. Cincinnati State is one of the few programs that offer a co-op out of the 170 in the country. “There is a job wait- ing for you after graduation. We literally have more co-op jobs than graduates,” explains Mr. Wright. Among the fac- tors fueling the demand is the local expansion of airfreight carriers such as DHL and Amazon Prime Air. 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