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Aviation Basics program at Houston’s Ellington Airport helping students land jobs


HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) — The buzz of the fan isn’t enough to cool the excitement over what students in a new aviation course are learning in Houston.

“It’s fun,” student Cole Harrington said. “I enjoy it. It means a lot to me.”

The students get a hands-on experience into what an aviation maintenance career could look like. For Harrington, it’s about fulfilling a love for aviation, even though he’s terrified of heights.

“The moment I heard about this program, I knew I had to do it,” Harrington explained. “Honestly, it’s my way of being up there, even though it’s not for me.”

Meanwhile, Shameka Jennings sees potential after losing her manufacturing job.

“I wish I had heard about it sooner,” Jennings said.

No matter how they found the program, each student has the same goal: landing an aviation job.

“Eventually, I want to climb my way up the ranks, or whatever, so I want to cross-train and learn whatever I can,” Jennings explained.

“As long as I keep on learning and I keep that interest, I’m sure there’s absolutely going to be something I love,” Harrington said.

ABC13 featured the Aviation Basics program at Ellington Airport during our Who’s Hiring Job Fair a few months ago. Workforce Solutions had more than 30 interested candidates because of it. The course costs more than $3,000, but there are scholarships.

“In a nine-week course, you’re getting a real good idea if whether or not you want to pursue an aviation maintenance career,” Teamsters Airline Division representative Chris Moore said.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics said the average pay of those jobs is about $65,000. They are positions that are in demand.

“There is a huge need for aviation maintenance professionals out there right now,” Moore said. “Everybody is hiring. They’re just trying to find enough people.”

And you don’t need to have any maintenance experience, just an interest in aviation.

“It’s extremely fun,” Harrington said. “Not just interesting, but it’s something to constantly keep me involved and enjoyable.”

It’s a program that can keep you buzzing, despite the heat. There’s still time to apply as the next program starts in September.

For updates on employment, hiring and free job fairs, follow Nick Natario on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.


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