Pierpont's Robert C. Byrd National Aerospace Center Received a $1.7 Million Grant

Pierpont's Robert C. Byrd National Aerospace Center Received a $1.7 Million Grant

Pierpont's Robert C. Byrd National Aerospace Center Received a $1.7 Million Grant
 
Bridgeport– There are currently 53 students taking classes in the Robert C. Byrd National Aerospace Education Center. But Pierpont Community & Technical College President Dr. Johnny M. Moore hopes to drive that number up with the grant money the school received through the U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA) and the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC).
 
“One of our top priorities is to support business, industry and expand our community partnerships,” Moore said. “Without the grant we can’t expand. There’s a need out there. So there’s an opportunity for our students to establish careers and go to school here and stay here.”
 
Pierpont's RCB National Aerospace Center received an award of $1,784,750 after a “very long application process.”
 
The money will be used to fund new equipment to further advance the school’s program, which is currently the only Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) approved training program in the state.
 
“We’re going to expand the area in aviation mechanics training. We’re going to get new engines and new aircrafts — some of our aircraft are getting quite old — and we’re also going to expand our aircraft structures training program which is an eight-week training program for sheet metal technicians,” Thomas Stose, director of the Robert C. Byrd Center and senior professor at Pierpont, said.
 
“We’re moving higher and higher in technology in aviation, and that’s going into digital electronics and computerized avionics.”
 
Pierpont held an announcement meeting inside the RCB Aerospace Center in Bridgeport Tuesday where they discussed the grant, the purpose of the program, and the need it is filling surrounded by engines and planes that the students actually work on.
 
“Our greatest goal is to put the citizens of West Virginia back to work in good-paying careers that offer them a lifetime of experience for them and their families,” Stose said in a speech at the center.
 
Both Stose and President Moore thanked the supporters of the school and those who helped in the application process. Representatives from Sens. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., and Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.Va., attended the ceremony to congratulate the achievement, for which the staff was thankful.
 
“We are thankful for the support, as Tom mentioned, from Sen. Manchin, Sen. Moore Capito and Congressman (David) McKinley, (R-W.Va.), and many many others who played a role in this day, because without that support and without the effort of those individuals we would not be sitting here today,” Moore said.
 
President Moore also said in a speech that careers in aeronautics are in demand within West Virginia as well. For this reason, Moore is especially excited to have grant money to make advancements to the school’s current program.
 
“Not only do we prepare students here within this service region, but this facility can help people throughout the state that are interested in this sort of program was,” Moore said. “It helps not only North Central West Virginia, but this is an opportunity for members of the entire state to benefit from what we offer here.
 
“These are challenging times, and the best institutions are rethinking how they respond to the challenges of the needs of the local community as well as the great state of West Virginia.”
 
 
 
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