New aviation program coming to Mazie Woodruff Center

New aviation program coming to Mazie Woodruff Center
September 27
05:00 2018

While celebrating the 20th anniversary of the Mazie S. Woodruff Center, Forsyth Tech Community College (FTCC) announced the launch of a new aviation program and others that will be housed at the Woodruff Center on Lansing Drive.

During the celebration held on Thursday, Sept. 20, elected officials, educators, students and others from various walks of life came together to celebrate the legacy of one of the city’s most well-known public figures. In 1976 Woodruff became the first African-American to be elected to the Forsyth County Board of Commissioners, on which she served for 14 years. In 1997, when Woodruff died, she was known for standing up for those in need throughout the Winston-Salem/Forsyth County community.

In 2017, a scholarship was established to give one non-traditional Forsyth Tech student $250 each semester. This year the big announcement during the celebration was the start of an aviation program scheduled to launch in 2020.

The program, which will be housed at the Woodruff Center and Smith Reynolds Airport, is designed to train airport technicians, specifically meeting the requirements of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) as mechanics. According to Rick Reed, president of REED International Aerospace Group LLC, the impact on the community will be astronomical.

“Young people can come through this training program and receive their actual FAA airframe and power plant certificate. And that means they’ll be able to go to work for aviation companies, which will be growing in the next 10 years and which are in great need of technicians to work on airplanes and airplane components,” he said.

According to Reed, along with lectures in the classroom settings, students will also receive hands-on training in laboratories less than a mile away from the Woodruff Center at the airport. The laboratory, where students will work on planes, will be a 56,000 square-foot space that will house eight to 10 airplanes.

“The students will actually get to put their hands on equipment and learn how to work on airplanes. This is a terrific addition to Forsyth Tech Community College. It’s going to be a tremendous opportunity,” Reed said.

Dr. Rachel Desmariais, FTCC executive vice president, also announced the expansion of career and technical opportunities for students at Carver High School and Quality Education Academy, which are near the Woodruff Center. Desmariais said just as Mazie Woodruff left a legacy serving the community, their goal with the Woodruff Center is to serve the community.

“This facility is for the community. We want to continue to be your community hub. We believe that’s important,” she said. “We’re excited to be forming those partnerships as we move along because we believe those partnerships strengthen and make all of us better.”

The keynote address during the celebration was delivered by County Commissioner Fleming El-Amin. He said Woodruff was a gracious, magnificent lady who would do anything for children and her community.

El-Amin, who was appointed to the Forsyth County Board of Commissioners in 2017 to replace the late Walter Marshall and is running for election to the seat this year, said, “She was a real public servant in every sense of the word.

“… This school that we’re at today has influenced the lives of thousands of young people because of Mazie Woodruff. Her vision has impacted thousands in this community. Whenever you think about education in Winston-Salem, you have to give some credit, when it comes to public education and higher education beyond high school, to Mazie Woodruff.”

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Tevin Stinson

Tevin Stinson

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