Local Program Boasts 100% Job Placement - Valley News Live - KVLY/KXJB - Fargo/Grand Forks

Local Program Boasts 100% Job Placement

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North Dakota is one of six states that will be a test site for unmanned aircraft systems. One school here in the valley is the only college in the country with a special training program, teaching students how to do maintenance on those aircrafts.

The unique program is giving students unbelievable job placement after school. Northland Community & Technical College is giving students that hands on opportunity.

"I wanted to be a mechanic and they have one of the best programs in the country." says Alex Yakymi a student finishing his final semester in the program. "The instructors keep us real busy, with a lot of hands on work, and they're really good about getting us out in the shop and letting us figure it out." 

He is getting an education no one can receive anywhere else. The school trains students for aircraft airframe and poweplant maintenance to prepare to test for certification as a Federal Aviation Administration airframe and powerplant mechanic. This special program is training students for UAS, or unmanned aircraft systems.

"Our focus is how to maintain these systems, especially with these your talking autonomist, a lot of computer type stuff," says Thomas Biller an Avionics UAS Instructor, "and so we're the first ones in the nation to actually stand up a program like this. lot of people are going to want to fly them, but somebody is going to have to fix them when they come down broke, and that's where we come in."

Students like Alex are specializing in UAS which takes two semesters. But it's not just the unique learning opportunity he is loving, but also the high job placement rate. 100% of graduates have landed jobs!

"You start looking at the different types of applications that UAS could get into and  it's really unprecedented, and again I don't think I could really forecast where this is going to go!" says the Associate Dean of Aerospace Programs Curtis Zoller.

Zoller says big name industries have told him they can graduate as many students possible and they would still have openings. Many starting in the industry can already earn around $80,000 or more.

"I'm not worried about getting a job at all when I leave the program, and I know I can get on with a great company and where I want to work." Alex says with a smile.

Northland Community & Technical College is thrilled to be the first to offer this program, and have room to expand for the growing demand in the future.

"I'll be at the forefront of what everybody is doing," Alex says, "so just watching it grow, and the test centers and with the test spots in place now it's going to boom in the U.S., so I'm excited to almost be done, and be ready to move on and get a good job."

It's a promising future for students and for the industry.

To see more on the program just click here.

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