Robert Puls, a business development consultant for the Work Force Solutions West Central Texas presents a check for $42,140 to Ezell Aviation to develop a FAA certification course, which will be taught to Ezell employees on site.
Ezell Aviation in Breckenridge received a grant on Wednesday to provide training for its employees as FAA-approved Airframe and Power Plant technicians. The grant was awarded by Workforce Solutions of West Central Texas through its Workforce Investment Fund.
The grant of $42,140 will be used to develop an accelerated course, which will be taught to Ezell Aviation employees on-site by a TSTC instructor. The program is for current employees at Ezell Aviation to acquire FAA certification for airframe and power plant ratings.
“It gives them the opportunity to go through a small, crammed course to prepare them to take the test,” said Chad Ezell. “It prepares them to be certified and licensed, which is more advantageous to us because it gives us more qualified people to do more hands-on work with less supervision.”
Robert Puls, a business development consultant for the Work Force Development, said the grants are designed to help businesses improve the skills and wages of their current employees .
“The grant will pay for their current employees that they've selected to get their AMP FAA licensing, a certification allowing them to work on airframe power plants on aircraft,” Puls said. “It will upgrade their skills. Upgrade their wages and gives the company a greater ability to get more work, contract out. It just allows them more capabilities to go out and get more work.”
He said the individuals who are being selected are incumbent workers who are already employees of Ezell Aviation.
“There's going to be eight individuals go through this first class,” Puls said. “And, I think he (Ezell) said he had 17 that were interested in upgrading their skills.”
He said they were anticipating starting the first class at the first of March and have it finished sometime at the end of May or first of June.
Puls said the classroom currently being constructed in the Ezell Aviation building, where the classroom portion of the program will be taught, is the company's in-kind fund to matching the grant.
Debbie Karl, the new TSTC campus director at the Breckenridge campus, was on hand for the grant presentation and said TSTC is providing the curriculum for the program, certifying the instructor and running all the class credits through TSTC.
Virgil Moore, director of the Breckenridge Economic Development Board, said they had been involved in securing the grant for Ezell Aviation.
“We actually found the grant that was available through Workforce Solutions West Central Texas,” Moore said. “It's called a Workforce Investment Fund, and we checked into it and found it fit perfectly for what we need to do out here at Ezel Aviation.”
Ezell said he thinks the training program is a great opportunity for his employees. “I think it's great for the employees; it's great for us; it's good for the community,” he said. “It gives us the opportunity to put people on a better pay bracket.”