(RI photo)

A new program to train aviation maintenance workers is coming to Kirkwood Community College in Cedar Rapids, thanks to nearly one million dollars in funding.

Those who complete the two-year program will be qualified to work on anything from small aircraft to, eventually, commercial airliners. Iowa Economic Development Authority director Debi Durham says Kirkwood’s Aviation Maintenance Technology program will be located at the Eastern Iowa Airport in Cedar Rapids.

“Iowa has more jobs than people right now to fill,” Durham says, “and the aviation industry is not spared from this very need.” Classes are scheduled to begin in the fall of 2023. The funding includes an 800-thousand dollar grant from the U-S Commerce Department and nearly $200,000 from local sources.

A survey found there are about 90 openings every year for aviation mechanics in Iowa, while nationally, there will be a need over the next decade for more than 600,000 mechanics.

(By George Dorman, KCCK, Cedar Rapids)