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DCC Lands Plane that Transported Top Government Officials as Aircraft Mechanic Program Prepares to Take Off

JULY 25, 2019 -- The partnership between Dutchess Community College and Dutchess County to enhance development at Hudson Valley Regional Airport while increasing educational opportunities for local residents took another step forward today, with the arrival of an aircraft that once served as Air Force One. Delivered to the U.S. Air Force in 1983, the airplane transported high-level government officials, including President George H.W. Bush and General Norman Schwarzkopf, and in 2004 was assigned to the Army Corps of Engineers. It has been based in the U.S., as well as Germany and the Middle East.

This is the fourth and largest aircraft DCC has acquired for less than $1,300 each through the government’s General Services Administration surplus program; two Cessnas and a Beechcraft were delivered earlier this year. The aircrafts will be used on the ground, to enhance hands-on training opportunities for students enrolled in the Airframe and Powerplant Maintenance certification program to be offered by the College beginning in 2020.

The FAA-approved program will prepare graduates to be aircraft mechanics, a well-paying field in which there is tremendous job opportunity and high demand. The DCC program will provide students with an exceptional learning experience, enhanced by state-of-the-art laboratory and classroom facilities housed in a hangar to be constructed at Hudson Valley Regional Airport in Wappinger. The project is being funded by the state and the county.

The Airframe and Powerplant Maintenance program builds on Dutchess Community College’s experience and success in aviation education; associate degrees in the majors of pilot and aviation management have been offered for several years. The new, 12-month program will lead to aircraft mechanic certification.

“The College is proud to partner with our local sponsor, Dutchess County, to align strategic priorities and accomplish shared goals,” said Dr. Pamela Edington, DCC president. “This initiative will enhance development at our local airport, while producing highly skilled aircraft technicians for excellent career opportunities. It’s a win-win.”

County Executive Marc Molinaro said, “Dutchess County is proud to welcome a former Air Force One used by President George H.W. Bush to our Hudson Valley Regional Airport. The hands-on experience that Dutchess Community College students in the aviation maintenance technician program will receive on this aircraft will prepare them for high-paying jobs in the aviation industry. By working together, DCC and Dutchess County are growing our economy, preparing students for quality jobs and providing an affordable, excellent education.

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