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FAA Career Training

AIM Las Vegas Graduate Spotlight: Wendell Gilkey

Posted by on Nov 5, 2018

AIM Las Vegas graduate Wendell Giley

AIM Las Vegas graduate Wendell Gilkey.

A father to three lovely children and a resident of the Las Vegas Valley, Wendell Gilkey was working full-time as a service technician for a local coffee service company before deciding to pursue a career in aviation maintenance.  Upon researching various schools, Wendell elected to attend AIM’s Las Vegas campus and enrolled into the Aviation Maintenance Technician (AMT) program.  In order to continue working and support his family, Wendell attended night classes.  He successfully graduated and moved quickly through the testing process in obtaining his Airframe and Powerplant certifications from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).

Upon completion of his training program, Wendell stated, “The instructors here at AIM Las Vegas were all extremely helpful.  When I think about all of the work that I put in and the opportunities that are ahead of me, I feel so gratified.  I know that my confidence and determination will serve me well in job interviews.”

Sky Combat Ace’s Extra 330LC.

Having built his home and raising a family in Las Vegas, he desired to stay in the valley area in securing an A&P Mechanic position.  Gilkey’s wishes came to fruition when Sky Combat Ace (SCA) offered him a position as a maintenance technician. Sky Combat Ace offers unique flight experiences, with patrons having the opportunity to ride along with highly trained fighter pilots as they perform aerial aerobatics, and even provides guests the opportunity to take control of the aircraft, if they desire.  The aircraft they fly are the Extra330LC, and the Super Decathlon8KCAB.  These planes require highly skilled mechanics to ensure the safety of the pilots and the customers of SCA.

Wendell accepted Sky Combat Ace’s offer and is now employed as a FAA certified A&P mechanic Wendell says, “I love what I do! I couldn’t have done it without the help from the team at AIM Las Vegas.”

About Aviation Institute of Maintenance

Aviation Institute of Maintenance (AIM) is a network of aviation maintenance schools with campuses coast-to-coast across the United States and headquarters located in Virginia Beach, Va. AIM students are trained to meet the increasing global demands of commercial, cargo, corporate and private aviation employers. AIM graduates are eligible to take the FAA exams necessary to obtain their mechanic’s certificate with ratings in both Airframe and Powerplant. AIM’s campuses are located in the following major metro areas: Atlanta, Philadelphia, Dallas, Houston, Indianapolis, Las Vegas, Washington, D.C., Kansas City, Mo., Fremont, Calif., Orlando, Fla., and Norfolk, Va. Learn more at: www.AviationMaintenance.edu.

AIM Chesapeake Student Honored with Rotary Club Scholarship

Posted by on Oct 22, 2018

By Megan Lewis, AIM Chesapeake Veteran Affairs Officer

Joel English (left), Nicole Cain and Doug Davis (right).

“I knew, at six years old, when I grew up I was going to be around anything that could fly. I don’t know if I’m a ‘grown up’ yet, but I feel like I’m living out my dream.”

This was written by Aviation Institute of Maintenance (AIM) Chesapeake student, Nicole Cain, as part of her essay for a Rotary Club scholarship application. Nicole enrolled at AIM earlier this year after getting out of the Navy, where she worked on SH-60S helicopters.

The Rotary Club of Chesapeake, Virginia generously wanted to provide one local AIM student a $500 scholarship to pursue their education at the school. This was the first time they had offered a scholarship to a vocational/technical program individual. Several students turned in their applications and Nicole’s phenomenal essay was chosen out of all of the great submissions.

On September 12th the Rotary Club hosted a luncheon to award Nicole the scholarship. To her surprise, Rotary President, Doug Davis, presented her with a $1,000 check to support her educational dreams! Dr. Joel English, Vice President of Operations for AIM, announced that with AIM’s Scholarship Match program, Nicole would receive $2,000 total towards her schooling. It was a wonderful event, celebrating a dedicated student at AIM. Congratulations Nicole and best of luck in your pursuit of living out your dreams!

About Aviation Institute of Maintenance

Aviation Institute of Maintenance (AIM) is a network of aviation maintenance schools with campuses coast-to-coast across the United States and headquarters located in Virginia Beach, Va. AIM students are trained to meet the increasing global demands of commercial, cargo, corporate and private aviation employers. AIM graduates are eligible to take the FAA exams necessary to obtain their mechanic’s certificate with ratings in both Airframe and Powerplant. AIM’s campuses are located in the following major metro areas: Atlanta, Philadelphia, Dallas, Houston, Indianapolis, Las Vegas, Washington, D.C., Kansas City, Mo., Oakland, Calif., Orlando, Fla., and Norfolk, Va. Learn more at: www.AviationMaintenance.edu.

Virginia Senator Tim Kaine to Attend Student Town Hall at Aviation Maintenance School

Posted by on Sep 13, 2018

By Brian Stauss

The Aviation Institute of Maintenance (AIM) Manassas’s campus is proud to announce the Honorable Senator Tim Kaine of Virginia will come to the campus for a Student Town Hall. The event will start at 10am EST on September 17th, 2018.  Senator Kaine has been instrumental in showcasing the need for career technical educations, and the school is proud he will address those thoughts with the students. The Senator will also participate in the school’s annual “Constitution Day” presentation.

AIM Manassas is a sister-school to 11 other aviation campuses nationwide. The Aviation Maintenance Technician program at AIM provides students with the knowledge, hands-on skills, and certifications required to become an FAA-certified Airframe & Powerplant (A&P), Technician. Students are trained to service, repair and overhaul aircraft components and systems in contemporary aircraft.

Marion R. Cohen, Campus Executive Director, feels strongly about the work she does at the school and the lives being changed.  She states, “When you are told you can’t that is when you say I can; AIM-Manassas gives you the knowledge to say ‘I can.”

Dr. Joel English, Vice President of Operations, has said, “Senator Kaine has been a champion for career and technical education as long as he has been a public servant.  From helping in his father’s ironworking shop to managing a technical school in Honduras, to serving our students as our Governor and US Senator, he has continually worked for the good of workforce development and technical education.  We are thrilled to host the Senator at Aviation Institute of Maintenance, and look forward to the chance for him to further inspire our students, who are working on their technical certification to become aviation technicians.”

AIM Manassas is located at 10640 Davidson Place, Manassas, VA 20109. For more information please contact the campus at (703) 257-5515.

About Aviation Institute of Maintenance

Aviation Institute of Maintenance (AIM) is a network of aviation maintenance schools with campuses coast-to-coast across the United States and headquarters located in Virginia Beach, Va. AIM students are trained to meet the increasing global demands of commercial, cargo, corporate and private aviation employers. AIM graduates are eligible to take the FAA exams necessary to obtain their mechanic’s certificate with ratings in both Airframe and Powerplant. AIM’s campuses are located in the following major metro areas: Atlanta, Philadelphia, Dallas, Houston, Indianapolis, Las Vegas, Washington, D.C., Kansas City, Mo., Oakland, Calif., Orlando, Fla., and Norfolk, Va. Learn more at: www.AviationMaintenance.edu.

Aviation Maintenance School Opens its Doors to Public at Air & Auto Show

Posted by on Sep 11, 2018

By Brian Stauss

The Aviation Institute of Maintenance will be holding this special event on September 29th, showcasing the world of aviation through aircraft displays, drone demonstrations, and more. This event will also include a car show and various activities for children.

The Aviation Institute of Maintenance (AIM) will be holding an Air & Auto Show on Saturday, September 29th at its campus located at 10640 Davidson Place, Manassas, VA. The show beings at 11 a.m. and will continue until 2 p.m.

The event will feature a variety of aviation-themed activities, including aircraft displays, demonstrations of unmanned aircraft systems (drones), and an engine pull.  There will also be a car show featuring vintage automobile displays.  The event will also feature live music, food trucks on-site, face painting for children, and a bounce house.

AIM’s admissions staff will also be on hand during the event, offering campus tours for anyone interested in pursuing a potential career in aviation maintenance.

This family friendly event is free and open to the public. For more information regarding Aviation Institute of Maintenance’s Air & Auto Show, contact AIM’s Manassas campus at (703) 257-5515 or go the event page online at https://www.facebook.com/events/180516145961331/.

About Aviation Institute of Maintenance

Aviation Institute of Maintenance (AIM) is a network of aviation maintenance schools with campuses coast-to-coast across the United States and headquarters located in Virginia Beach, Va. AIM students are trained to meet the increasing global demands of commercial, cargo, corporate and private aviation employers. AIM graduates are eligible to take the FAA exams necessary to obtain their mechanic’s certificate with ratings in both Airframe and Powerplant. AIM’s campuses are located in the following major metro areas: Atlanta, Philadelphia, Dallas, Houston, Indianapolis, Las Vegas, Washington, D.C., Kansas City, Mo., Oakland, Calif., Orlando, Fla., and Norfolk, Va. Learn more at: www.AviationMaintenance.edu.

Youth from City of Norfolk Summer Camp Make Special Trip to AIM Chesapeake

Posted by on Aug 28, 2018

Any parent knows that finding their children activities to keep them busy during the dog days of summer can be quite an ordeal.  To help parents, The City of Norfolk Recreation, Parks and Open Space (RPOS) offers a number of youth camps throughout the summer. One of these camps are the Norview Navigators.

The Norview Navigators camp, now in its third year of existence, is designed for older campers (ages 13-16).  It is the only teen summer camp offered by the City of Norfolk.  The goal of the camp is to expose youth to things that they would otherwise not get to experience. As a part of the camp, participants go on a number of field trips. Two of these trips happened to be to the Aviation Institute of Maintenance’s (AIM) campus in Chesapeake, VA.

The first of these trips occurred on July 27th, with camp participants learning about the fundamentals of flight/aeronautics and some of the practical applications of those fundamentals.  As the day continued, the youth were introduced to drone technology. The teens got to sit down and take control of a drone through AIM’s drone simulator program. Afterwards, the day wrapped up with a live demonstration of a drone flight.

“The staff at AIM were awesome,” says Markia Mickles, Recreation Specialist with Norfolk’s RPOS.  “They kept our group engaged with great hands on activities.”

The Navigators returned to the AIM campus on Friday, August 3rd for an introduction into aircraft maintenance. Campers received a brief lesson on aircraft safety standards and then were able to get down and dirty with hands-on projects in metal fabrication, aircraft tire and wheel assemblies, and aircraft inspections.

“Our campers learned a lot about aircraft and the work that goes on behind the scenes on a day-to-day basis to prepare an aircraft for flight,” Mickles continued. “The Norview Navigators want to extend their thanks to AIM and look forward to working with the school again in the future.”

AIM to Serve: Campuses Reach out to Communities for National Volunteer Week

Posted by on May 23, 2018

The school groups of Aviation Institute of Maintenance, Centura Colleges and Tidewater Tech have reached out to their community and volunteered their time for a number of organizations.  The staff at these institutions have chosen to serve their communities by volunteering their time, talent and support to causes that are meaningful to their communities. Here are just a few examples where are campuses have provided inspiration and hope to their community.

AIM Indianapolis Joins Forces with Local Elementary School to Provide Bikes to Children

The Indianapolis campus of Aviation Institute of Maintenance is on a mission.  The goal: to provide bikes to the children of a local elementary school.  See AIM Indianapolis’s plans in an excerpt from a letter drafted by its Campus Executive Director, Andy Duncan.

“I can still remember my first “big boy” bike.  No more training wheels for this guy.  This new bike looked like a motorcycle with big orange fenders, long black seat, silver frame (complete with motor cycle decal), and knobby tires.  I can remember the initial ride down the street into the ditch and abrupt stop when I hit the concrete wall at the end of ditch.  The memory is firmly planted in my head of this event from over forty years ago.  If you are like me you remember your first bike or first “big boy or girl” bike and it brings a smile to your face.  For lots of kids they will never know that felling.  It is simply beyond the reality of the life they live for their family to afford such a luxury. 

We at Aviation Institute of Maintenance want to do something about this.  The AIM Indianapolis campus is on a mission to help recreate the feeling I and so many others have of getting a new bike.   We have partnered with McClelland Elementary school to help this dream become a reality. 

McClelland Elementary school has over 1000 students and due to the socioeconomic condition of a large portion of the students all students qualify for free breakfast and lunch.  McClelland is home to a fairly significant homeless population of students as well.  We, AIM, found our place to help bring some smiles simply by providing bikes.  Now that the partnership has been set we have to get the word out as to what we are doing. 

We have reached out to our partners in Aviation, friends & family, and other businesses to help with donating gift cards toward this effort.  The students and faculty of AIM have graciously volunteered their time to assemble the bikes as they arrive.  McClelland is choosing the criteria for the students that will receive the bikes and on May 25th we will head over to the school bikes in hand for delivery day. 

As I write this 28 bikes and helmets have been ordered, 18 assembled, and ten more in route to us.  We still have a couple weeks to collect a few more and as of right now several others are promised to us.  We are looking forward to seeing the children when they receive their bikes.  I know what having a bike meant to me as a child and I know that events like this show the community what Aviation Institute of Maintenance is all about.  We train mechanics.  We help people have a better future in their new career and we give bikes to kids who need them.  That is who we are and that is what we do.  I like the sound of that.”

Centura Columbia Lends Helping Hands in Support of Flood Victims

On Friday, April 20, 2018, Centura College Columbia partnered with St. Bernard’s Place to assist a homeowner reclaim his residence after the devastating effects of flooding. St. Bernard’s Place is a national nonprofit organization focused on helping citizens of an affected area restore their lives after a natural disaster. Parts of South Carolina were hit hard in 2015 by Hurricane Joaquin, resulting in catastrophic flooding that left scores of citizens displaced. Many people are still rebuilding some two years later.

A team of ten from the Columbia campus, consisting of staff and students, arrived at the location and got an assessment of the resident’s needs. The cohort was broken into groups and assignments were given. Some helped strip paint from baseboards and door trim, others applied fresh paint to other parts of the home, while the remaining manned table saws and sanders to repair water damaged woodwork. The students represented our Building Maintenance and Repair (BMR), Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning (HVAC) and Medical Assisting programs.

In all, the team worked on site from 8:30 am-12 noon and assisted in the ongoing progress toward completing the restoration. The campus has pledged its support in future activities and looks forward to serving the Midlands community at large.

Tidewater Tech Staff and Students Volunteer at Local Church to Serve Lunch to Community

Tidewater Tech staff and students volunteered locally with Norfolk’s Christian Fellowship Church on Tuesday, April 17th from 12-2pm during their lunchtime fellowship. Tidewater Tech volunteers worked together in providing lunch to serve the church, veterans, civilians, and homeless members of our local Norfolk community. Additionally, resources were also provided for those seeking help with housing or financial hardships. Christian Fellowship’s purpose is to provide an intimate environment of learning, fellowship, support, accountability and community outreach. Christian Fellowship educates and gives back to the community through seeking volunteers for, in addition to offering, education advancement, IT, kid’s kingdom, finance team and literacy, regular food service, building and grounds, marketing, office, and administrative support, music and singing, Christian education, transportation resources, nursing, and other special events. This being said, Tidewater tech was delighted to be able to offer lunch and resources, and to overall play role in aiding such a great organization. The experience of serving others, knowing the increasing amount of people facing hunger, left a truly powerful and uplifting impact for participants in seeing the appreciation of those served.

These are just a few shining examples of students and staff at AIM, Centura College, and Tidewater Tech personify the mission of our brands to truly connect communities and careers.

Other instances of our campuses doing their part to help out their communities include:

  • AIM Atlanta teaming up with Greater Gwinnett Wetlands and the Gwinnett County Department of Water Resources to clean up Bromolow Creek and surrounding wetlands.
  • AIM Irving collecting food for the North Texas Food Bank.
  • AIM Houston lending a helping hand and meeting with residents and business owners at annual Hobby Fest.
  • AIM Las Vegas partnering with Ronald McDonald Charity House and baking cookies for a family staying there.
  • AIM Mannasass welcoming the Manasass City Boys and Girls Club to their campus for a fun-filled day.
  • AIM Oakland holding a food drive for those in need in the community.
  • Centura Chesapeake holding a community yard and craft sale, with proceeding benefiting the Samaritan House.
  • Centura Norfolk medical assisting students providing wellness checks for members at the KROC center.

Be sure to check our blogs and follow us on Facebook for updates on these and more stories of community outreach.