BRIDGEWATER, Va. (WHSV) – It was a program planned before the pandemic, but it’s finally taking off in Bridgewater in hopes of inspiring the next generation of aviators.
Michael Stoltzfus, CEO of Dynamic Aviation, says that for years they have been planning the program called NEXTGEN Aviators to help bridge the gap between the nation’s shortage of aviation education and manpower.
“What really motivates us is the opportunity to give back to the local community, to give back to the college students in this case, today it’s the college students to give them back the opportunity to live this truly inspiring moment”, Stoltzfus noted.
This fall, students from across the Valley have the chance to learn about different trades and learn how airplanes work.
Shane Combs of Dynamic Aviation explains that the idea is to show students that there are many opportunities for success after high school. Combs says the goal is to bring the classrooms in and show the students something they haven’t seen before.
For some students, it is the chance to fly for the first time in their life.
“They can fly on our desktop simulators which are pretty awesome, they do an inspection on the airplane, and then they can go fly on an airplane,” Combs said. “It is interesting that 90% of the children who participate in the program are their first flight. “
Stoltzfus says it’s a special time to gift children and the program won’t just stay in the valley.
“This fall we’re not just in the Valley, but we’re in six other locations in Virginia and we’re inspiring more kids in a larger area,” Stoltzfus said.
Members of the US Air Force and Blue Ridge Community College are also part of the program to show students opportunities on how they might start their careers.
For more information on NEXTGEN AVIATORS, click here.
Copyright 2021 WHSV. All rights reserved.