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Two Indiana universities work to help combat the aviation worker shortage

Hiring Hoosiers: Two Indiana Universities working to help combat the aviation worker shortage
Posted at 3:50 PM, Jul 21, 2022
and last updated 2022-07-21 18:38:03-04

INDIANAPOLIS — Air travel is unpredictable at times.

This has been especially true lately as the country faces a shortage of aviation workers.

“There is just as much need for mechanics as there is pilots,” Michael Gehrich, Director of Aviation at Vincennes University said.

At Vincennes University Aviation Technology Center in Indianapolis, their program is giving students a chance to earn a degree in Aviation Flight Technology or Aviation Maintenance Technology. Gehrich said the program is a partnership between Vincennes University and Purdue University.

“So, students can start here as early as a junior in high school and can go all the way to a bachelor’s degree at Purdue,” Gehrich said.

For students like Sam Meier, his focus is on the maintenance side of planes, and he hopes to graduate sometime next year.

Meier is a student in the university's Maintenance Program.

“They need us bad. Our wages are just skyrocketing right now,” Meier said.

Daniel Wilcox is another student who attends the Vincennes University Aviation Technology Center. Wilcox is in the ATC Flight Program. He said he is training to become a commercial pilot.

“The need was really a bonus, to be honest with you – I know COVID hit right before I started," Wilcox said. "It was just pursuing something that I was really going to be excited about going into work every day."

Gehrich tells WRTV that the industry needs more people like Wilson and Meier as it continues to fight the ongoing shortage.

“We are seeing an increase in interest but certainly not at the rate that we see the increase in need,” Gehrich said.

If you are interested in learning more about a career Purdue Polytechnic Indianapolis and Vincennes University is Community Aviation Day on July 23rd.

In a press release, the university says that they have invited more than forty aviation-related employers, and many will be on hand to share about immediate and future job opportunities.

If you are interested in learning more about attending Vincennes University Aviation Technology Center, click here.