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First class graduates from aviation school at former George Air Force Base

Students attending the School of Aviation Technology at the former George Air Force Base in Victorville, Calif., get hands-on training as aircraft mechanics. The school is one of various activities brought to the base through the efforts of Air Force Real Property Agency personnel. (U.S. Air Force photo/Scott Johnston)

Students attending the School of Aviation Technology at the former George Air Force Base in Victorville, Calif., get hands-on training as aircraft mechanics. The school is one of various activities brought to the base through the efforts of Air Force Real Property Agency personnel. (U.S. Air Force photo/Scott Johnston)

VICTORVILLE, Calif. (AFNS) -- Forty-three student aircraft mechanics attending the Southern California Logistics Airport School of Aviation Technology, located at the former George Air Force Base, recently graduated with full certification in general aviation, powerplant and airframe maintenance. And their diplomas are paying off, as the vast majority landed jobs almost immediately.

The students spent 2,050 hours learning about physics, welding, sheet metal, mathematics, hydraulics and electrical systems in a hands-on program taught over 82 weeks.

About half of the graduates already have passed their oral and written Federal Aviation Administration licensing tests. Once licensed, their credentials qualify them to work anywhere in the world.

Many of the recent graduates didn't have to stray far from the school to find work, however, because they've already landed local jobs. The Southern California Logistics Airport has 17 aviation-related businesses. Other graduates will work at other airports in the region, at the Marine Corps Logistics Base in nearby Barstow or at private companies such as Lockheed.

Job placement help is offered at the school, which opened in March 2009 with the goal of creating a regional pool of trained applicants for aircraft mechanic jobs. Such high-demand jobs feature entry-level wages of $40,000 and up. The school received final FAA certification in April 2010.

The Air Force Real Property agency, responsible for buying, selling and managing Air Force property worldwide, supports programs such as the SCLA School of Aviation Technology, which helps optimize assets at former Air Force installations, driving economic redevelopment and public benefit.

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