By Staff Reports
(Victorville) —In two short years, Victor Valley College students interested in Aviation careers can become certified Avionics Technicians for remotely piloted aircraft. The best part, they get paid during training that will provide them with an opportunity to gain experience and develop a skillset. Thanks to a $692,000 grant awarded to Victor Valley College from the California Community College Chancellor’s Office and a partnership with General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc. (GA-ASI), the ETAP (Electronics Technician Apprenticeship Program) will provide valuable career training and skills required for employment opportunities in an in-demand and fast growing industry sector.
“In collaboration with our valued partner General Atomics, we are proud of our role in meeting the evolving needs of our high desert economy,” VVC Superintendent/President Dr. Daniel Walden said. “We will continue to increase opportunities for our students to upgrade their skills and improve their prospects for rewarding careers through such programs.”
Like many other employers in the High Desert, relocating and retaining talent has always been a challenge for GA-ASI and will only get tougher as global and national job opportunities increase and supply cannot meet demand for talented professionals. To help solve their needs, the company reached out to Victor Valley College for help and the timing was right.
“We decided the best way to retain talent was to grow our own talent pipeline. Forecasts show the needs for aviation maintenance technicians will exceed the supply of trained personnel beginning in 2021,” said Steve Muir, Director of Field Avionics, GA-ASI. “The California Apprenticeship Initiative (CAI) grant was exactly what we needed to offer local residents a skill they can take with them anywhere.”
Apprentices in the program are paid full-time competitive wages and offered a comprehensive benefits package. In addition, they will earn 20 college credits and two certificates through Victor Valley College. In order to qualify for the program, candidates must also be able to obtain a Department of Defense security clearance.
Those who are interested can apply through the High Desert America’s Job Center (760) 552-6550 and need to ask to be scheduled for the CASAS Assessment for the GA-ASI ETAP