On 20 September 2017, Pittsburgh Institute of Aeronautics (PIA) will host a ribbon-cutting ceremony to celebrate the expansion of its Youngstown campus.

PIA invested US$1.3M in its purchase of the site at Hangar 3 in 2016, with plans for the project developed by Michigan-based Sidock Group, Inc., which is run by an architect, engineer and project manager who specialises in the heavy industrial and aerospace industries.

Led by interests in Michigan, Ohio, and Pennsylvania, the construction of the new campus unites several so-called ‘Rust Belt’ businesses in pursuit of a forward-thinking goal: providing educational excellence in one of the fastest-growing employment sectors in America.

PIA’s new facility includes electrical and welding classrooms, an aeronautics lab, a conference facility, administrative offices, and a student resource center with a computer lab. The adjacent hangar features specialised shop areas for aircraft propulsion systems, electricity, sheet metal, hydraulics, instruments & controls, composite materials, non-destructive testing, welding, and painting. “Our expansion is a continued expression of the Youngstown region’s strong history in aviation,” said Suzanne Markle, President and CEO of PIA. “Our investment in our facilities and our students is in response to strong career demand. We look forward to the opportunity to serve new students and prepare them with the entry-level technical skills we know our employers seek.”

Since 2006, PIA’s Youngstown Branch campus has been training certified and work-ready aviation maintenance technicians with a 16-month diploma program in Aviation Maintenance Technology. With an impressive 94% placement rate and a student-focused average ratio of 10 students for every instructor, the Youngstown-Warren campus was honoured as a 2016 School of Excellence by the Accrediting Commission of Career School and Colleges.

PIA’s campuses in Pittsburgh, Youngstown, Hagerstown and Myrtle Beach have been selected as four of approximately 40 aircraft maintenance schools to partner with Delta Air Lines to provide graduates able to meet the carrier’s high expectations.