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Creating Pathways to Possible: Developing Tomorrow’s Aircraft Maintenance Technicians (AMTs)

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Friday, June 4, 2021

SALISBURY, Maryland- Skilled aircraft technicians remain in demand as the aviation industry recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic and an older workforce begins to retire. To increase awareness of technical aviation careers to a diverse population of students, Piedmont Airlines, Inc. is donating aircraft engines to select aircraft maintenance education programs on the East Coast.

Piedmont donated engine number six to the University of the District of Columbia Community College (UDC-CC), in Washington D.C., one of the few Historically Black College & University (HBCU) in the nation with an FAA certified Airframe & Powerplant (A&P) program. UDC’s Aerospace Technology Program offers two related paths of training in aviation: the Aircraft Mechanic’s Certification and the Aviation Maintenance Technology Program (Associate’s Degree).  Both of these aviation activities are centered at UDC Community College’s aviation facilities (Hangar #2) at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport (DCA), also a hub for American Airlines. Piedmont’s engine, a Pratt & Whitney model PW120A was put in storage when Piedmont retired its fleet of deHavilland DHC-8 “Dash-8” aircraft in 2018.

“We are excited to make this donation and expand our partnership with the University of District Columbia,” said Bill Arndt, Vice President of Maintenance and Engineering. “The best way to learn hands-on skills is by doing hands-on practice and with a real engine. As customers begin to return to the skies and flights increase, demand for skilled airframe and powerplant mechanics will only increase. We want to show students the pathway to a maintenance career starting with a regional airline right in their back yard.”

“On behalf of the students and faculty of the UDC Aviation Maintenance Technology program, we would like to express our appreciation to Piedmont Airlines for this very generous donation. The engine will go a far way in enhancing the knowledge and skills of our students by providing them with experiences that replicate those they will encounter on the job,” said Dr. Marilyn Hamilton, Dean of Academic Affairs, UDC Community College.

The AMT Program offered by UDC Community College provides diverse training that includes developing knowledge and work skills in 45 areas including: A&P privileges and regulations, hydraulics, electricity, electronics, metal structures, environmental systems, welding, instrumentation, composite materials, turbine and reciprocating engines, propellers, and related systems.

The Pipeline Report, published by the Aviation Technician Education Council (ATEC) highlights that the average age of an A&P graduate is 27, with minorities accounting for 43 percent of graduates and 8 percent are female.

“This is part of our airline’s broader strategy to establish educational partnerships with local institutions to develop tomorrow’s labor pool, specifically AMTs and pilots from diverse backgrounds. Partnering with UDC’s aerospace program allows Piedmont to provide tools and resources to Aviation Maintenance Technology students and faculty while increasing Piedmont’s visibility with future AMTs,” said Arndt.

“Piedmont continues to seek out partner schools that will help us build a well-educated, diverse work force far into the future,” said Jacqueline Jennings, Vice President of People and Communications. “We are focused on the team member experience and this starts before team members even walk through the door. We are thrilled to deliver this engine to UDC-CC.”

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Dr. Lawrence Potter, UDC-CC, signs the official transfer of responsibility, accepting the engine donation. He is joined by DC Mayor Muriel Bowser, students from UDC-CC, American Airlines President Robert Isom, and representatives from Piedmont.


The Pratt & Whitney model PW120A engine was donated from Piedmont Airlines, Inc. to the University of the District of Columbia’s aviation maintenance technology program.


About Piedmont Airlines

Piedmont Airlines, Inc. is a premier regional carrier of American Airlines, providing service both on the ground and in the air across the United States. Every day, nearly 9,000 aviation professional foster a mission of caring, compliance and communication on and off the airfield.  Piedmont is headquartered in Salisbury, Maryland, and operates a fleet of Embraer 145 regional jets. Piedmont Airlines’ ground handling team can be found in more than 80 airports across the United States providing award winning ground service to passengers of American Airlines. Learn more about what’s happening at Piedmont by visiting connect with Piedmont on Twitter @piedmontair
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