Fort Worth, TX – Community College of Beaver County (CCBC) has been selected as one of 10 innovative aviation organizations to receive a flight education grant from American Airlines. In a recent ceremony held at the C.R. Smith Museum in Dallas, Texas, American awarded the grants to schools and organizations working to grow and diversify the professional pilot population.

“Of the nearly 600 organizations we invited to participate in our program, these 10 stood out with innovative ideas on growing and diversifying the pilot career path and creating opportunities for those who may not otherwise have the chance to learn,” said Captain David Tatum, American’s Director of Pilot Recruiting and Development. 

At the luncheon, CCBC President Chris Reber was presented a $25,000 gift from American Airlines to support the continued growth and expansion of the CCBC Aviation High School Academy. Funding will enable additional high-impact, high-tech educational experiences for students in the CCBC Aviation Academy to help prepare them for aviation careers after graduation. Funding will also support outreach efforts focused on increasing participation and enrollment in the Aviation Academy with a particular emphasis on reaching populations that are currently under-represented in the professional pilot population.

“CCBC’s Aviation Academy is providing Western Pennsylvania’s high school students with transformational educational and career-related experiences that will prepare them for future success,” said CCBC President Dr. Chris Reber. “We thank American Airlines for their partnership and support, which enhance CCBC’s efforts to increase awareness of the critical need for a future source of professional pilots who are ready to take flight.”

According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, the aeronautics industry is growing significantly, with an anticipated 11% increase in the number of airline and commercial pilots in the next decade alone.  Within the next 20 years, the airline industry expects to hire almost 100,000 pilots. Growth alone is not driving this development. The retirements of existing pilots who are aging out of the system and changes in industry regulations will combine to further increase these shifts. As the industry realigns its workforce for the 21st century, partnerships between corporate employers and comprehensive aeronautics programs like CCBC’s are critical to ensuring a pipeline of talent for the industry.

To expand the availability of aviation talent and help diversify the pilot population, CCBC launched the CCBC Aviation Academy in 2015. The CCBC Aviation Academy capitalizes on CCBC’s nationally distinctive School of Aviation Sciences, whose offerings include one of the nation’s top-ranked air traffic control programs and a professional pilot program that has been a major source of talent to industry nationwide for nearly 50 years.

By engaging students early in their high school experience and providing them high-impact educational experiences such as flying planes, visiting an active air traffic control tower, or operating a full-motion flight simulator, the College provides innovative exposure to career pathways in aviation.

Students in the CCBC Aviation Academy pursue educational pathways in the Professional Pilot, Air Traffic Control, and Unmanned Aerial Vehicles programs. The Aviation Academy is offered at the CCBC Aviation Sciences Center at the Beaver County Airport and the Parkway West Career and Technology Center near the Pittsburgh International Airport.


# # # #

About Community College of Beaver County
CCBC transforms lives through personalized education, dynamic partnerships, and high impact practices. The college has an annual enrollment of 6,000 credit and non-credit students. CCBC is an Achieving the Dream Leader College and offers 75 degree, certificate and diploma programs, hundreds of Continuing Education and Workforce Development programs, seamless transfer to a wide variety of baccalaureate and graduate institutions, and a nationally distinctive high school academy dual enrollment program. The Aspen Institute named CCBC one of America’s Top 150 community colleges in 2017.

About American Airlines
American Airlines and American Eagle offer an average of nearly 6,700 flights per day to nearly 350 destinations in more than 50 countries. American has hubs in Charlotte, Chicago, Dallas/Fort Worth, Los Angeles, Miami, New York, Philadelphia, Phoenix, and Washington, D.C. American is a founding member of the oneworld® alliance, whose members serve more than 1,000 destinations with about 14,250 daily flights to over 150 countries. Shares of American Airlines Group Inc. trade on Nasdaq under the ticker symbol AAL. In 2015, its stock joined the S&P 500 index.

CCBC was named a top innovative aviation organization and awarded a $25,000 American Airlines flight education grant for its initiatives and strategies aimed at growing and diversifying the professional pilot population.

Pictured from left to right:

Heather Bowers, American Airlines Manager, Pilot Career Recruiting
Dr. Chris Reber, CCBC President
Kolton Codner, CCBC Executive Director of Advancement and Sponsored Programs
Aimee Boger, American Airlines Pilot Career Development
Cameron Row, American Airlines Pilot Recruiting & Development