MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (WMBF) - South Carolina Lieutenant Gov. Pamela Evette visited the Pittsburgh Institute of Aeronautics’ Myrtle Beach Campus on Tuesday for a closer look at how they’re preparing people for the aviation industry.
Evette met with administrators and students as she toured the campus facilities. She also got a chance to check out students working with sheet metal and in the institute’s engine shop.
The visit is part of the governor’s office and state Department of Commerce’s effort to strengthen education and training programs across the state.
“The governor likes to talk about advanced manufacturing in our state, the wonderful quality jobs that are coming here and the businesses that are bringing them and its schools like this that will keep South Carolina growing,” Evette said.
Campus Director Peg Skalican said the program takes 16 months to complete, getting students into the workforce quicker than a traditional four-year degree.
She said aviation technicians are in high demand, but that the field is going through a shortage because of current workers retiring.
“That is where we're seeing the demand come from is a lot of retirements and not as many young people going into skilled fields,” Skalican said.
That’s one reason student Brandon Fletcher said he decided to enroll.
“You can get your certification just through going, working in the industry under somebody and taking your test, but I would not be able to do that without going through here,” Fletcher said.