Iowa Western Aviation Program Receivers $500,000 FAA Grant

WASHINGTON— Thirty-two schools nationwide will receive $13.5 million in grants from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to help attract and train students for careers as pilots and aviation maintenance technicians. Iowa Western Community College will receive $500,000 from the FAA’s Aviation Maintenance Technical Workforce Development program.

According to the FAA, these grants will help build back the pipeline of maintenance professionals; approximately 20,000 fewer people are working in the aircraft maintenance sector than before the pandemic.

“The FAA grant program will enable Iowa Western to expand its aviation maintenance program and provide valuable education in a highly skilled career field,” said Dr. Jenny Kruger, vice president of academic affairs at Iowa Western. “Our focus will be on training the next generation of aviation maintenance professionals and filling the much needed workforce pool.”

Recipients can use the FAA funding to establish new educational programs; provide scholarships or apprenticeships; conduct outreach about careers in the aviation maintenance industry; and support educational opportunities related to aviation maintenance in economically disadvantaged areas. 

According to officials at Iowa Western, the FAA grant will help amplify the region’s aviation maintenance technician workforce by:

Sustaining and advancing outreach and recruitment campaigns designed to attract a diverse pool of candidates; 2) Expanding program capacity; 3) Enhancing student support services; and 4) Improving the educational experience through updates to instructional equipment and technology.

Iowa Western Community College will ease the transition to careers in aviation maintenance for veterans, high school students, and adult job seekers from special populations historically underserved and underrepresented within the industry, as well as those residing in economically disadvantaged regions.