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February 16, 2018

District 11

The aerospace industry helping the education system

An introductory program enters high school

Montreal, February 16, 2018- Currently, the introduction to Aerospace initiation set up by Aviation Connection is part of the extracurricular activities offered to students at the Massey-Vanier High School in Cowansville. Aviation Connection intends to include its program in the choice of courses of four high schools during the next school year.

By connecting Aerospace to high school education, Aviation Connection provides the school network with an additional tool to get students interested in science, technology, engineering, mathematics and encourage perseverance in school. "In the era of the Falcon 9 rockets by Musk and the autonomous aircraft, we must expose our young people to this universe of space that will be omnipresent in the future. Let's show our youth ambition and courage to get them to persevere", Camil Dumont, president and founder of Aviation Connection.

"Tackling school dropouts and improving our education system is a great way to build a more just society. If the aerospace workers and the Machinists' Union can play a role in it, why not", the IAMAW Québécois coordinator, David Chartrand, believes. "At the Machinists ' Union, service to the community has always been a part of our values. That is why we want to help Aviation Connection in its objectives of creating a link between the school and the aerospace workers, to promote the transfer of knowledge and allow them to enter this universe to which they have little or no exposure. It is often a parent or friend who introduces a young person to a career. It's hard to choose a trade without knowing it".

The Aeronautical Training Program and its AERO LAB; A first in North America

The Aeronautical Training Program is free, and open to all and without prerequisites. It has five levels of courses delivered over three years. The students are called upon to perform mechanical and structural transformations on virtual aircraft that they first learned to fly. In all, eight simulation positions are installed at Massey-Vanier High School (see photo at the end of the article). An airplane (a gift from the Aviation Connection) allows students to apply the acquired theoretical knowledge. As part of the course, students will develop a remote-controlled aircraft and participate in an international competition.

"The activities we propose are stimulating, and they involve the knowledge acquired in several subjects." To apply the complex and abstract formulas that we find in science or mathematics to flying or assembling an airplane, makes learning easier and interesting. With the success of the program, Aviation Connection is confident that students will have the opportunity to choose this option in at least 1 or 2 high schools in Quebec as early as September 2018. "Currently under negotiation", says Dumont.

Interesting girls into the aerospace industry is part of our goal

"We want to send the message that it's an environment where everyone can find their place and be successful. In fact, a young aircraft pilot and glider flight instructor is part of our team of instructors and advisors", says Camil Dumont.

Shortage of specialized manpower

By 2026, more than 31 681 positions will be available in aerospace, according to the Quebec Aerospace Labour Committee (CAMAQ), which is one of Aviation Connection's partners.

"The aerospace industry is currently facing a blatant lack of specialized manpower." The maintenance of jobs in the aerospace industry in Quebec, the lack of candidates in technical schools, testifies to the urgency of instituting an aeronautical training program in high schools in Quebec. We have been talking about this problem for too long", says Camil Dumont. "It is time to take concrete steps to solve the problem once and for all."

In closing, we would like to point out that the program is supported by several actors from different backgrounds (municipalities, industries, school boards, airports, etc.) and that Aviation Connection is currently in the process of recruiting new Partners.