SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — After debuting its pilot training program a few years ago, Ozarks Technical Community College is now breaking ground on a new airframe and powerplant training facility.

Matt Hudson, the Executive Dean for Career Technical and Community Development, said more than 70 students are enrolled in the aviation program.  

“People don’t really know that Springfield, Missouri is a regional hub. So we have a lot of flights that come in and out here that are in those smaller carriers. Recently American Airlines constructed a facility to do diagnostics and repairs of regional air jets, this will allow us to train students not only for their workforce but will likely bring other jobs to the area for the same cause,” said Hudson. 

When Covid hit, the number of students in the program dipped for a period of time but they are starting to see more students enroll in the program.

The facility is scheduled to open up in 2025 with only 25 spots available for students to take advantage of.

Hudson says this is a great time to be a student.

“You know, we really had kind of a list of things that OTC has wanted to do for a long time and we have been able to check those off one by one for the last several years and we have some future ones planned,” said Hudson. 

The college goes over several data points before deciding whether or not it makes sense to add a program.

“The Aviation program we are starting for the Airframe and Powerplant is a direct result of that research. We look for jobs that have a good forecast for the future and that are in high demand in high wages and require a good technical training set,” said Hudson. 

The training facility will cost $13.2 million with most of the funding coming from government partners. 

The ceremony will take place at 1:00 p.m. at the Premier Flight Center in Springfield.