Savannah Tech soars with new Aviation Training Center

#1409 | August 19, 2013

Savannah Tech Aviation Training Center Grand Opening FB

Group photo cutline: Savannah area economic development, business and community leaders celebrated the grand opening of Savannah Technical College’s Aviation Training Center at the college’s Crossroads campus. Pictured left to right: STC Board Member Mary Warnell, Gulfstream Aerospace Corp. Senior Vice President of Administration and General Counsel Ira Berman, TCSG State First District Board Member Mary Flanders, STC President Dr. Kathy Love, Georgia Representative Ron Stephens (R-Savannah), TCSG Commissioner Ron Jackson, STC Board Member Terry Lemmons, STC Board of Directors Chairman Donald Lovette, STC Foundation Board of Trustees Chairman Jim LaHaise, SEDA Board of Directors Chairman David Paddison; SEDA President/CEO Tripp Tollison.

The sky’s the limit for aviation training in Southeast Georgia

SAVANNAH – Technical College System of Georgia Commissioner Ron Jackson, Savannah Technical College President Dr. Kathy Love and honored guests celebrated the grand opening of STC’s Aviation Training Center today.

“The new Aviation Training Center at Savannah Technical College will provide Georgia’s aviation industry with the highly-skilled workforce that they need in key areas like aircraft assembly and maintenance,” said Jackson. “President Kathy Love and her faculty and staff have worked closely with corporate leaders like Gulfstream to develop a model facility that will provide outstanding training for our students and place them in great careers in an industry that’s essential for Georgia’s future growth and economic development.”

The nearly 30,000-square-foot facility at STC’s Crossroads Campus has a 5,000-square-foot hangar, four labs designed and equipped for hands-on instruction and spacious classrooms. It was designed by James W. Buckley and Associates, Inc. and built by Pope Construction.

“This state-of-the-art facility is a tangible reminder of Savannah Technical College’s commitment to provide an assortment of programs tailored to meet the workforce needs of our region’s businesses and industries,” said President Love. “With the opening of this facility, Savannah Technical College is answering the call of the aerospace industry for a workforce with specialized skills. Students that begin their training here will be on a pathway to great jobs and successful careers.”

Savannah Tech’s Aviation Division currently offers several programs of study that prepare students for careers in the aviation industry. These programs include certificates and diplomas in aircraft structures manufacture and repair, luxury craft cabinetmaking, and aircraft electrical equipment repair and installation. The College was recently approved to offer the Aircraft Upholstery and Trim Technical Certificate of Credit. The College is currently accepting student applications for this program scheduled to begin spring semester of 2014.

The College is currently seeking FAA approval to offer programs that will provide graduates with the skills and knowledge needed to become certified as airframe and powerplant mechanics. The new Aviation Training Center will help STC meet FAA Part 147 requirements, which govern aviation mechanic schools.

For more information about Savannah Technical College’s Aviation Technology programs visit



Aviation Training Center Building Specs.

  • 29,152 sq. ft. building, which includes a hangar, four training labs and five classrooms with a tarmac.
  • Classrooms have computers in desks for enhanced computer-based learning.
  • 5,000-sq.-ft. hangar includes hoist, portable paint booth, ground support equipment, electro tug ground power unit and engine stands.
  • Training Labs:
    • Powerplant: engines (reciprocating/turbine), storage rooms, battery room
    • Airframe: electrical trainers, Non-Destructive Testing / Non-Destructive Inspection equipment, Magnaflux Machine, Zyglo Machine.
    • Aircraft Structural (Sheet Metal/Cabinetmaking): sheer, breaks, slip roller, heat treat oven
    • Composite: electrical and air drops from ceiling, tool room.
    • Electronics/Avionics Training Lab (classroom used as a lab): 12 computer stations, instructor station tracks progress
  • Designed by James W. Buckley and Associates. Construction by Pope Construction Company.

Aircraft Technology Division

  • Aircraft Structural Technology Diploma (52 credit hours or three to four semesters)
  • Aircraft Assembly Technician Certificate (12-13 credit hours or one semester)
  • Aircraft Upholstery and Trim Certificate (14 credit hours) JUST APPROVED – STARTS SPRING 2014
  • Luxury Craft Cabinetmaking Certificate (10 credit hours)

Aircraft Technology Career Description and Trends

  • Aircraft structural technicians build new equipment and conduct repairs. Manufacturing work is based on customer orders in a team assembly environment. Repair work is typically paid hourly and on an as-needed basis, but training is needed for all types of aircraft (old and new) and is dependent on customers needing repairs.
  • Local trends indicate rapid job growth through 2015 for aircraft upholstery and trim, and then moderate growth in the foreseeable future.
  • In 2005, there were close to 700 luxury craft cabinetmakers working in Georgia. Job growth in this field is predicted to be about 3% regionally and 12% nationally for the next decade. The most growth is predicted to be in aerospace product manufacturing and service.
  • Government contracts are currently being negotiated with aerospace suppliers, which may potentially increase employment demand by several hundred to thousands of individuals during the next few years.
These programs incorporate hands-on training and provide skill sets necessary for a job within the industry. These programs do not guarantee students a job with any aviation company. For more information about Aircraft Technology programs call 912.443.4094 or visit



Aviation Training Student Success Nelson Guzman, Structural Mechanic for Gulfstream Aerospace Corp., STC Aircraft Structural Assembly Graduate

Six years ago, Nelson Guzman worked for a local janitorial company, cleaning the hangar floors at Gulfstream Aerospace Corporation.

Today, he’s a structural mechanic at Gulfstream, where he assembles state-of-the-art cockpits for the company’s G450 and G550 jets.

At the age of 19, Nelson formulated a plan to get the training he needed to transition from sweeping floors to building high-tech airplanes. The key component of that plan was attending Savannah Tech’s Aircraft Structural Assembly program.

“I knew Savannah Tech would give me a good starting point,” he explains. “All I needed was the training and a chance to prove myself.”

At the age of 20, Nelson enrolled at Savannah Tech, where he got plenty of hands-on manufacturing experience, worked with rivet guns and fasteners, studied blueprints and learned the aerospace manufacturing process.

After completing the program, Nelson interviewed with Gulfstream and secured a position as a trainee. Over the past five years, this proud Savannah Tech graduate has been promoted three times and has distinguished himself as an exemplary Gulfstream employee.

Savannah Tech enabled this hard-working Pooler resident to transition from a minimum wage job to a high-paying position at a leading local manufacturer.

“Savannah Tech gave me a great foundation,” he raves. “I love coming to work every day and take pride in what I do at Gulfstream. I’m grateful Savannah Tech helped me achieve my career goals.”

Aviation Technology Information:
912.443.4094 or

Media Contact: Amy Shaffer, APR
912.443.5512 or

Savannah Technical College serves Coastal Georgia with quality, market-driven technical education with campus locations in Chatham, Effingham and Liberty Counties. Serving more than 10,000 credit and non-credit students annually, Savannah Tech offers nearly 150 different instructional programs in Aviation Technology, Business and Professional Services, Industrial Technology, and Health Sciences in addition to Adult Education classes, industry-specific training and continuing education. The College serves as an economic and community development partner for the region, offering corporate and customized training and assessment programs for business and industry.

Savannah Technical College is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) to award associate degrees, diplomas and technical certificates of credit. Questions about the accreditation of Savannah Technical College may be directed in writing to the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges at 1866 Southern Lane, Decatur, GA 30033-4097, by calling (404) 679-4500, or by using information available on SACSCOC’s website (