August 19, 2021
Thirty years ago, there was more going on than those flash-fads of parachute pants, beanie babies and Macarena performances. A growing interest in the community for a high-end career as a well-trained aircraft mechanic caught the interest of San Joaquin Valley College.
The big aircraft companies and carriers at that time, such as Tran World Airlines (TWA), United Airlines, Continental Airlines and Pan American World Airways (Pan Am) mostly recruited skilled mechanics from big city training facilities. San Joaquin Valley College’s research verified an industry need and a local interest in an Aviation Maintenance Technology career training resource. In the summer of 1991, SJVC launched its Aviation Maintenance Technology (AMT) program on the extended grounds of the Fresno Airport (now Fresno Yosemite International Airport) with just a handful of students. The AMT program stays steady today with almost 900 graduates prepared for this specialty field.
The AMT program’s original stand-alone campus is now the Fresno – Trades Education Center (TEC) and expanded to include Heating, Ventilation, Air Conditioning & Refrigeration (HVAC-R), Electrical Technology and Maintenance Technician programs. “Although we’ve partnered up with the ‘technical campus’, we like to keep our individual identity, also,” says Curtis MacNeill, Fresno – TEC Campus Dean.