The Federal Aviation Administration has approved the electronics program at Mesa Community College to train federal airport workers, making it the first college program in Arizona to obtain such certification.
J.D. Neglia, director of MCC’s electronics program, said a team of FAA workers visited the college in October to assess the program and determine whether to add it to the list of 38 schools that are specially certified to train FAA workers.
The college recently received word that it was certified, Neglia said Monday.
While the certification allows the Mesa college to train FAA electronics technicians who work at nearby airports such as Phoenix Sky Harbor International, it also creates opportunities for MCC students and new graduates to obtain internships or fill vacancies within the federal agency, which governs flight safety.
Neglia said the FAA is trying to ward off a looming shortage of electronics professionals as many of its workers near retirement. Clearly, the agency will see a benefit from certifying MCC — new, younger workers — but the college also has a lot to gain from the FAA certification, Neglia said.
“Since these jobs are really secure and high-paying, it would attract more people to go into the program,” Neglia said. “It could potentially increase our enrollment.”
Electronics technicians are hired by companies and agencies to develop new equipment and repair aging equipment.
Nearly 200 students are enrolled in MCC’s electronics program.