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Aviation job training to meet future demand at SI Airport


JACKSON CO. (WSIL) -- New jobs are on the horizon at the Southern Illinois Airport as construction gets underway on two new facilities to house aviation businesses, Aircraft Dismantling and Crucial Aviation, both in need of qualified technicians once complete.

To help meet that growing demand, Southern Illinois University Aviation Department at SI Airport is about to receive a boost from grant funding, to the tune of nearly $1.2 million.

The funding is to support workforce development initiatives within southern Illinois, and will assist in meeting the future needs of the aviation industry's job market here at home.

The two new aerospace companies building facilities at SI Airport are set to open sometime next year, and Kathy Lively, CEO of Man-Tra-Con says, the grant will directly impact the region with job training opportunities in a growing aerospace industry, despite layoffs due to the pandemic.

"This also then begins to be that bridge, between the employers who are coming and our commitment to be able to train people, SIU's continued commitment to train people for those employers," says Lively. "And through WIOA funds, we're going to be able to do on-the-job training so people can be engaged in academic learning while they're earning."

Man-Tra-Con Corporation is one of 27 grant recipients through the Delta Regional Authority. They say they are working on another possible grant with the same intentions, this time for SIU's Automotive Department, as car dealers in our region are struggling to fill their gap in qualified labor.

Joe Rehana

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