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Pearl River receives $2 million grant for Aviation and Aerospace Workforce Academy

The Department of Economic Development Administration (EDA) announced Oct. 4 that Pearl River Community College will be awarded a $2 million grant for use in the construction of a new Aviation and Aerospace Workforce Academy at the Stennis International Airport. The grant will be matched with more than $3.9 million in state and local investments and is expected to help create 469 jobs, retain 550 jobs, and generate $5 million in private investments.

“We are honored by the confidence the EDA has placed in Pearl River Community College with this grant award announcement,” PRCC President Dr. Adam Breerwood said. “The Southern Mississippi Planning and Development District team were exceptional leaders through the entire application process. Without the relentless work and guidance of the SMPDD team this award would have not been possible. We are blessed to have these talented individuals working to create economic development opportunities in our surrounding communities.

“Congressman Palazzo, Senator Cindy-Hyde Smith, Senator Roger Wicker and their respective staffs provided unwavering support and belief in our project. Pearl River Community College remains dedicated to formulating relationships with existing industry partners and exploring new educational programs, curriculums and workforce development opportunities to serve as a catalyst for economic development in our local communities.”

FACILITY DETAILS

The academy will by an estimated 25,000 square feet and will consist of eight classrooms, five labs, lobby with reception area, faculty and staff offices, break room/kitchenette for staff, indoor sitting/vending area for students and an outdoor courtyard sitting area.

The hangar will be an estimated 18,000 square feet and will consist of: two classrooms with labs, open hangar area with hands-on lab stations, outdoor covered area for equipment training, lobby with reception area, faculty and staff offices, break room/kitchenette for staff, small vending area for students. The hangar will offer the following programs: Airframe & Propulsion Technology, Unmanned Arial Systems and Precision Manufacturing.

Every classroom and lab will be designed to be multifunctional and versatile to constantly fit the changing needs of the businesses and industries in this area. Programs listed are the core offerings to start, but they can be changed and added to at any time.

NEW PROGRAM OFFERINGS

The academy will offer diverse educational opportunities including academic, career and technical and workforce programs.

The academy will offer the following programs: Instrumentation, Industrial Electronics Technology, Practical Nursing, Welding & Cutting Technology, Computer Aided Design & Drafting, Business Management Technology, Academic Courses, Workforce Programs, Adult Education/GED.

The programs that will be new to the Hancock location upon its opening are Instrumentation, Airframe & Propulsion Technology, Industrial Electronics Technology, Precision Manufacturing, Computer Aided Design & Drafting and Business Management Technology.

The Aviation Maintenance Technology program is an instructional program that prepares individuals to inspect, repair, service, and overhaul aircraft engine components and systems. This program is designed to prepare the student for the Federal Aviation Administration exams for certification as an Aircraft Maintenance Technician. Industry standards referenced are from the Federal Aviation Regulations, Part 147, Aviation Maintenance Technician Schools (Airframes and Power Plants).

The hangar is estimated to be completed by Dec. 31, 2020 and the academy by the same date in 2021.

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