SUNY Celebrates Ribbon-Cutting for $16 Million State-of-the-Art Dutchess Community College Aviation Education Center

June 24, 2021

Home of Newly Certified FAA Part 147 Aviation Maintenance Technology School—First in 50 Years—to Provide Education and Training for High-Demand, High-Paying Jobs in the Mid-Hudson Region

Highly Skilled Aviation Training Program Positioned to Help Fill the Worldwide Demand of 754,000 Technicians by 2037

Salaries Ranging from $66,000 for Non-Jet Aircraft Mechanics to $84,000 for Jet Aircraft Mechanics

Photos From the Ribbon-Cutting Available Here


Wappingers, NY
– State University of New York Chancellor Jim Malatras joined Dutchess Community College and state and local leaders for a ribbon-cutting ceremony to launch the new $16 million state-of-the-art Dutchess Community College Aviation Education Center. Through significant New York State and Dutchess County capital funding, DCC invested nearly $16 million in the construction of the new facility, and the purchase, delivery, and installation of specialized start-up laboratory equipment and instructional aids. Housed at the Hudson Valley Regional Airport (KPOU), the center includes the college’s new FAA Part 147 aviation maintenance technician program, the first to be certified in 50 years, which provides education and training for high-demand, high-paying jobs in the Mid-Hudson region.

DCC’s brand-new 32,000 square foot Aviation Education Center and hangar will be the site for students enrolled in pilot, aviation management, and aviation maintenance technician programs. DCC’s Aviation Maintenance Technology program is expected to address one of the aviation industry’s most pressing needs: a shortage of highly trained aviation maintenance technicians. The project was supported by $1.5 million in Mid-Hudson Upstate Revitalization Initiative (URI) Funds.

With the Aviation Education Center and expanded academic programs, DCC is well positioned to help fill the worldwide demand for such technicians, about 754,000 by 2037, a result of 30 percent of employees in the field nearing retirement. Average salaries range from $66,000 for non-jet aircraft mechanics to $84,000 for jet aircraft mechanics.

In the Mid-Hudson Region alone, there are 10 airports within a 90-mile radius of the campus, including Albany International Airport. Between Hudson Valley, Stewart, Westchester, and Albany, there are 25 fixed-based repair stations and employers.

"Job training is a critical way to meet the needs of the post-pandemic economy and help ensure sustainable and successful careers are accessible to all New Yorkers," said Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul, Chair of the statewide Regional Economic Development Councils. "Through support from New York State, Dutchess Community College's new state-of-the art Aviation Education Center will provide a critical pathway for New Yorkers to get the skills and training to launch them into the high-demand, high-paying aviation jobs that are here to stay in the Mid-Hudson Valley."

"Dutchess Community College is a leader in aviation instruction in New York, providing specialized skill training that SUNY is known for, and the new aviation maintenance program and this state-of-the-art center will allow the college to offer students a world-class training facility to meet the aviation industry's worldwide growing workforce demands," said SUNY Chancellor Jim Malatras. "From this center, students will benefit from real, hands-on learning experiences that will prepare them for the aviation field. Dutchess Community College’s new aviation training facility is world-leading and will make the Hudson Valley the epicenter for training the world’s workforce. My thanks to Acting President Ellen Gambino for leading this effort with the support of our state and local leaders."

Empire State Development Acting President, Commissioner and CEO designate Eric Gertler said, "Ensuring that New Yorkers are trained and ready for in-demand jobs is an integral part of our recovery. This new Dutchess County Community College program, with its FAA-approved coursework and state-of-the-art facilities, will give students the technical skills they need to compete and to answer the call for high-paying aviation jobs, lifting up the economy in the Mid-Hudson region and beyond."

Dutchess Community College Acting President Ellen Gambino said, "The DCC@HVR Airport facility represents our commitment to broadening aviation education in the region. We already have the reputation for being one of New York’s leading aviation education providers—our pilot and aviation management programs are second to none—and now with the addition of our new aviation maintenance technician programs and this outstanding education center, we are even more strategically positioned to meet the workforce needs of the aviation industry, now and in the years to come. Students who finish their training with us will be on a pathway to great jobs and successful careers.

State Senator Susan J. Serino said, "Today's Grand Opening of the DCC@HVR Airport facility is a testament to the local community and the College leaders who worked tirelessly to make it happen. With air travel set to take off once again, students for generations to come will now be able to play a hands-on role in moving the aviation industry forward. We are excited to see what they are able to accomplish with this exciting new opportunity!"

Dutchess County Executive Marc J. Molinaro said, "Dutchess County Government’s partnership with Dutchess Community College is soaring to new heights with the opening of the new Aviation Center at our own Hudson Valley Regional Airport (HVRA)! The County’s investment of nearly $8 million to build the education hangar is part of a multi-prong strategy focused on increasing enrollment at DCC and creating a pipeline to new jobs. The new aviation center offers students the opportunity to gain in-demand skills for high-paying jobs while serving as a magnet to attract aviation maintenance and related businesses to locate at the HVRA where they can take advantage of a skilled workforce."

Wappinger Town Supervisor Dr. Richard L. Thurston said, "We are excited that the new State of the Art Aviation Education Center will bring new career skills opportunities to the residents of the Town of Wappinger and neighboring communities."

DCC will offer an airframe and powerplant technician certificate program and an aviation maintenance technician degree that will give students two options for learning how to keep aircrafts operating safely and efficiently, while gaining valuable experience in servicing, repairing, and testing aircrafts and aircraft systems.

The coursework will feature real-world, hands-on opportunities to work with the new state-of-the-art equipment, including advanced aircraft system simulators, a modern welding and sheet metal shop, and aircrafts, including a Gulf Stream G3, a selection of Cessnas, and a Robinson 22 helicopter.

The certificate can be finished in approximately 12 months, while the degree program takes just a little over 20 months to complete. Graduates can then look forward to thriving careers in high-demand and well-paying employment areas, such as general aviation, fixed-base operations, executive aircraft services, major airlines, aircraft contractors, modification operations, and manufacturers, as they apply their skills around the country or across the globe.

Students with an interest in aviation and a high degree of mechanical and technology aptitude are encouraged to find out more about these exciting new opportunities at www.sunydutchess.edu/aviationtech. For more on DCC’s other aviation programs, visit www.sunydutchess.edu/aviation.

About the State University of New York
The State University of New York is the largest comprehensive system of higher education in the United States, and more than 95 percent of all New Yorkers live within 30 miles of any one of SUNY’s 64 colleges and universities. Across the system, SUNY has four academic health centers, five hospitals, four medical schools, two dental schools, a law school, the state’s only college of optometry, and manages one US Department of Energy National Laboratory. In total, SUNY serves about 1.3 million students in credit-bearing courses and programs, continuing education, and community outreach programs. SUNY oversees nearly a quarter of academic research in New York. Research expenditures system-wide are nearly $1.1 billion in fiscal year 2021, including significant contributions from students and faculty. There are more than three million SUNY alumni worldwide, and one in three New Yorkers with a college degree is a SUNY alum. To learn more about how SUNY creates opportunity, visit suny.edu.


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