LS3P and Lindbergh & Associates, a T.Y. Lin International company, have been signed to fully design a new Aeronautical Training Center at Trident Technical College (TTC) to train the next generation of aircraft and aircraft parts builders and designers.
The site design package, which was already completed by Lindbergh & Associates, a Charleston-based infrastructure consulting firm, is planned to advertise for construction in the next 30 to 60 days and complete the center by 2019.
Richard Garcia, executive vice president at Lindbergh & Associates, said his company has been working on the project for a year and a half.
The unique, state-of-the-art facility will provide trained individuals for the area’s growing, Boeing-anchored aeronautical industry, Garcia told Palmetto Business Daily.
The college’s planned 224,000-square-foot, $79 million center will house the college’s aeronautical studies programs, with an estimated 5,000 students taking courses in aircraft maintenance and assembly technologies, composite manufacturing, robotics and related fields. It will include a paint hangar and ramp and open bays to accommodate aircraft and large aircraft parts.
The development of the facility is being funded by the state -- which has set aside $48 million -- Charleston County, the city of North Charleston, federal grants and private contributions.
TTC’s Aeronautical Studies programs prepare students for three tracks to work in the aviation industry, according to the college. The Aircraft Maintenance Technology program leads to Federal Aviation Administration licensing or certification for air frame and power plant. The Avionics Maintenance Technology program prepares students for Federal Communications Commission and National Center for Aerospace and Transportation Technologies certifications.
Garcia said various individuals, including Boeing executives, have collaborated to reach this point, but he had particularly praise for TTC President Mary Thornley.
“Half of the people look at it with a glass half-empty, another half full, there’s a couple of individuals who just look at filling the glass, and that is Mary Thornley at Trident,” Garcia said.
“For South Carolina to have the ability to absorb the workforce requirements of suppliers as well as Boeing, we need added capacity to train workers,” Thornley said in a statement announcing the next phase of the project. “This new facility will position our state to meet the needs of the rapidly expanding aerospace cluster.”
The number of South Carolina aerospace jobs is growing seven times faster than state employment as a whole, according to a report in the Post and Courier newspaper. Further, employers are not necessarily looking for hires with advanced, according to a study of the industry. More than 90 percent said they would hire workers, even ones with no prior experience, who have certification through a technical college.