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Aerospace education programs set to take flight in Charlotte County

Two new aviation related programs are being developed at Charlotte High School.
Posted at 6:29 PM, Feb 22, 2024

PUNTA GORDA, Fla. — Two aerospace programs being developed at Charlotte High School aim to get students jobs in the industry immediately after graduation.

"This vision of relevance and partnership will help elevate Charlotte County to be a leading force in aviation and aerospace education," said Mark Vianello, Superintendent of Charlotte County Schools.

Through the Aviation Assembly and Fabrication program and the Avionics program, students will earn certifications that allow them to start working in the industry without a college degree.

"Many of our students when they graduate high school they will have the opportunity to earn up to $65,000 a year or more depending on what field they do," said Dr. Brian Granstra, Director of Career and Technical Education for the school board.

Part of the vision for the programs involve building an airplane hangar on the CHS campus that would house the programs classrooms. The goal is to start enrolling students in the program next school year, and have the hangar built by the 2025-2026 school year.

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Proposed Aviation Maintenance Academy Hangar

The programs aim to create an educated workforce that will hopefully bring additional aviation and aerospace companies to the county.

"The program will create a pipeline for the aviation industry workforce here in Charlotte County," said Amanda Fox, an Aviation Maintenance Specialist. "Which will attract major industry to the airport and help grow the community as a whole."

The school board first has to find funding for the hangar before construction can begin. Congressman Greg Steube toured CHS on Feb. 22, and said he would aid in the process.