Peralta Community College District is celebrating a $3 million federal grant to expand and modernize the College of Alameda’s Aviation Maintenance Technology (AMT) training facility.
Founded in 1973, the College of Alameda’s AMT program is located in the City of Oakland, Calif., adjacent to the North Field of the Oakland International Airport on the corner of Harbor Bay Parkway and Doolittle Drive. The program is currently housed in two buildings which date back to the 1960s.
The Federal Economic Development Administration (EDA) awarded the $3 million aviation gran to support the refurbishment of the current facility in order to provide local residents with expanded workforce training opportunities and higher skill, higher paying jobs. According to estimates, the project is expected to create 1,109 new jobs and help retain 1,000 jobs. The college’s AMT program plays a critical role in providing the qualified aircraft technicians on which regional employers such as United Airlines and Alaska Airlines depend.
“As a public, two-year college, College of Alameda provides an affordable, accessible way for regional residents who most need access to higher paying jobs can train for them without incurring debt,” said Tim Karas, president, College of Alameda. “This grant comes at a crucial time as the program is currently over-subscribed with a long wait list each semester while, at the same time, employers are forecasting an ongoing shortage in qualified technicians.”
The College of Alameda aviation project will build out and modernize the second floor mezzanine of Building B Level 2 which is currently shuttered and not accessible. This expansion will add approximately 5,230 square feet of modern facilities for the program including three smart classrooms, four-five faculty offices, up-to-date bathrooms and a new student study and lounge area.
“The proposed project will allow us to expand the number of students we can serve each semester by providing additional instructional space and faculty offices, “ said Hoi Ko, faculty, Aviation Maintenance Technology and Aviation Operations. “It will also allow for the existing structures to be brought up to current fire, life and safety code requirements, including ADA. The current structures date to the 1960s and desperately need updated electrical, HVAC, and other improvements. The buildings are currently too hot or too cold, making an inhospitable environment for students and faculty.”
The AMT program is an intensive evening program that students can complete while working during the day. Classes are scheduled in nine-week blocks, five days a week from 4:30 p.m. to 10:30.p.m. (holidays excluded). The coursework can be completed in two years as a full-time student, or students can attend part-time and take courses as their personal schedule allows.Total costs for the entire program average $3,200, considerably less than what would be expected to pay at a private school. Moreover, since 2015, the program’s success and retention rate has been more than 95 percent.
The hands-on program prepares students to enter the job market as aviation technicians, or to pursue a higher aeronautical degree. Depending on their interests, students can choose a focus in either airframe or powerplant technology. Airframe maintenance deals with the mechanics and design of an aircraft, while powerplant maintenance deals with the complex propulsion systems that supply power to an aircraft.
For more information about College of Alameda’s AMT program, please visit http://alameda.peralta.edu/aviation-maintenance-technology/