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South Dakota Aviation Maintenance Students In High Demand

December 12, 2013, 6:30 PM by Erich Schaffhauser

South Dakota Aviation Maintenance Students In High Demand

The need for safe air travel is fueling a need here in KELOLAND.

For the third straight year, businesses which hire people to maintain their airplanes visited Lake Area Technical Institute’s aviation program Thursday. They say good workers are in demand.

"Right now, for these students, it's a great time overall. There's a lot of job opportunities," aviation consultant John Bucher said.

It's the same across the country according Bucher. Students at Lake Area Tech are being trained in aviation maintenance. Bucher says there are a lot of people in that field nearing retirement.

Aviation Maintenance Technology Department Supervisor Greg Klein says some students are already interviewing for and accepting jobs, well before their May graduation.

"That's a pretty good indication that the shortage that we've been told is developing for aircraft maintenance technicians is actually coming to fruition," Klein said.

"I do not know of one service center that's not hiring right now and these are all good paying jobs," Bucher said.

Student Brady Fast wants to stay in South Dakota and spray crops. Still, he's excited about the opportunities he and classmates have around the country.

"A lot of the guys that are in aviation now are a lot of older guys and we need a younger generation to come in and take control and step up and do the jobs that need to be done," Fast said.

Representatives from businesses as far away as Wisconsin and Oklahoma were at Lake Area Tech Thursday meeting with students.

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