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New River Community Technical College to partner with other agencies to provide Aerospace programs

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BEAVER W. VA. (WVVA) - New River Community and Technical College announced Tuesday it will be bringing new aerospace programs to their Raleigh County Campus.

The programs are a collaboration between WVU Tech, the Raleigh County Airport, and the New River Gorge Regional Development Authority.

Leaders said the program aims to diversify the area's work force, and implementing these programs means long term jobs for citizens in the region.

Bonny Copenhaver, the President of the New River Community and Technical College, said offering this program is essential for citizens interested in pursuing a career in the aerospace industry.

"An Aviation Mechanic program or any other technical program is just that, it is knowing what the employer needs, training the students to do that and then seeing them through a program," said Copenhaver.

The program is a meant to compliment the Airport Expansion Project in Raleigh County.

Jina Belcher, the Executive Director of the New River Gorge Regional Development Authority said offering these programs is essential for recruiting companies to come to the airport expansion project.

"We can't recruit companies specifically in aerospace, if we don't have a skilled and tight workforce to do so, so that's really why we ventured into this partnership," said Belcher.

Leaders also say the skills learned in the coal industry will be easily translated to this program.

The program will allow students to continue to WVU Tech for a Bachelor's Degree in Aviation Management.

The college will provides more updates on the project through a newsletter. Those interested can sign up for the newsletter by emailing: aviation_info@newriver.edu.

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Maria Sellers

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