Affordability, Business Needs Drive Pulaski Tech Growth

by Robert Bell  on Monday, Jun. 21, 2010 12:00 am  

In terms of enrollment demand, programs in the school's Allied Health & Human Services Division, such as nursing, dental assistance and respiratory therapy, are very popular.


Aviation Aims

Pulaski Tech's aviation courses have fluctuated in enrollment recently. A few years ago, the school saw a lot of interest in aircraft modification courses.

"That was a direct result of the fact that Dassault and Hawker Beechcraft both had three-year waiting lists for customizing Learjets and other kinds of airplanes," Jones said.

When the recession hit, much of that demand went away. Typical enrollment in aviation courses during the school year is about 150.

"We have room for 200, but thanks to the economy it's kind of slow," said Steve Hotle, aviation maintenance program director. "They are picking up, though."

While the interest in customization courses might have waned slightly, Pulaski Tech is starting a certification course in avionics, Hotle said.

The main objective of the aviation program is for students to learn what they need to earn the Federal Aviation Administration's Airframe & Powerplant certification, which is a license to work in civil aviation anywhere in the United States, Hotle said.

Earning an avionics certificate in addition to the FAA certification would give aviation jobseekers a leg up. But they still might have a tough time finding a job in central Arkansas.

The aviation job market in the region is largely related to manufacturing, which has seen a big slowdown since the recession began. Both Hawker Beechcraft and Dassault Falcon Jet have had considerable layoffs in the last couple of years.

"There are jobs all over the country for licensed mechanics, just not in central Arkansas at the moment," Hotle said.



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