Ivy Tech's new aviation center, which was dedicated today, is the future of the aviation industry.
I keep telling myself, “Yes, it's true.”
Ivy Tech Community College built an awesome facility dedicated to my chosen line of work — aviation. And it's right here in Fort Wayne at the Smith Field Airport. As the current flight operations director for Sweet Aviation, it has been my goal since high school to obtain my aircraft maintenance technician certificate.
As the manager of a fast-growing business, the father of two young children and the husband to an understanding woman, it has been necessary for me to have the flexibility to attend evening classes at a slow but planned pace. I started at Ivy Tech Community College in January 2009 and am on pace to complete my aviation maintenance technician certificates by the end of 2014. For me, the flexibility of being able to take a few evening classes every semester and very methodically complete the program over a period of time is important, and it has been working out great.
This program has allowed others to complete their entire training at a much faster pace. For example, my co-worker, Dylan, is now our lead maintenance technician for Sweet Aviation and completed the Ivy Tech program and obtained his certificates in less than two years.
As Ivy Tech's aviation student base has increased, its need for being capable of maintaining this scheduling flexibility has also increased. The former facility, which was leased from the airport authority at Smith Field, was not originally designed to be a school building. This, along with growth of the program, greatly limited the number of classes that could be offered in the evening for non-traditional students like me.
Over the last few years, Ivy Tech has done a wonderful job in doing the best it can to offer as many courses as possible given the space constraints. The new aviation center could not come at a better time. As a student progresses toward the end of his training, his class selection becomes more and more narrow. This facility will allow for an expanded offering of courses with a greater chance to fulfill your training schedule on time.
Ivy Tech's aviation center at Smith Field has not only greatly increased the square footage, but it is actually designed for this specific purpose. It sports expanded classroom space, a larger library capacity, training rooms specific to certain areas of training, a long green hallway for the appropriate aesthetics and more. After years of hoping and waiting for a new facility, I was extremely satisfied and impressed as I recently took my first tour of the new facility. As I walked in the door, the first thing that came to my mind and out of my mouth was, “Wow! Now this is exactly what we've been hoping for — a facility with the design, tools and space specifically intended for aircraft maintenance training.”
I am enrolled in two classes this semester, and I'm thoroughly enjoying the newfound space and tools this facility provides. The aviation center has sent the future for this program, its staff and its students soaring to a much higher altitude.
Having made its location permanent at the Smith Field Airport helps ensure a future of synergy among the other aviation programs based at the airport. Sweet Aviation currently employs Ivy Tech Community College graduates as well as Ivy Tech staff. As Sweet Aviation grows, the number of job opportunities available for aircraft technicians will continue to grow, helping to provide newly minted technicians with a beginning job for their aviation career.
Thank you, Ivy Tech, for investing in the lives of people like me and all the other students participating in your aviation maintenance technology program by providing this fantastic, new center.
Yes, I remind myself again, it is true!