Joseph Charter School’s aviation program has received a $431,162 grant through the Career and Technical Education Revitalization Grant program.
More than $10.3 million was granted to 205 Oregon middle and high schools through the program.
A committee comprised of representatives from organized labor, trade organizations, education and Oregon’s energy and business community reviewed 64 applications totaling $21 million in requests, giving priority in part to applications that could demonstrate community partnerships and offered programs that lead to high-wage, high-demand occupations.
The aviation field is both high-wage and high-demand. According to a recent Boeing study, 41,000 new aircraft will come on line worldwide in the next 20 years and 637,000 new pilots will be needed to fly those craft. Boeing also expects the industry to need 609,000 commercial aircraft maintenance technicians by 2034.
Since the introduction of the course by Joseph Charter School instructor and pilot Toby Koehn in 2016, the course has had the support of Treasure Valley Community College, which has an aviation program; the North East Oregon Aviation Foundation, which raises money for scholarships and other aviation-related instruction; and has attracted numerous supporters.
Among those are U.S. Air-Force Flight Engineer Brett Hays of Enterprise who donated the use of a flight simulator; Michael and Rene Fleming, both aviation professions from Joseph who invited the class to learn how to build a kit airplane; and, most recently, a donor who has given the class an airplane to work on.
Joseph Charter School was additionally chosen as one of only 30 schools nationwide to test the “You Can Fly” curriculum developed by Purdue University in conjunction with the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association. The class also participated in the General Aviation Manufacturers Association Build A Plane Aviation Design Challenge.