If any doubt remains that the aviation industry is facing a shortage of pilots, look no further than a new program for aspiring pilots at Kansas State University Polytechnic Campus with partner Piedmont Airlines. Teaming together, the two are offering help with tuition and a job guarantee at the regional airline.
The program is associated with the university’s Salina, Kansas, campus, and administrators are scheduled to meet with prospective students for the program in mid-April. They will select students in the school’s professional pilot program who have their CFI certificate.
“Students accepted into the cadet program after an interview process can receive tuition reimbursement once they have completed 500 hours of flight time. They receive a financial incentive with every 100 hours of completed flight time after that, up to 1,000 hours,” says an article in the Wichita Eagle last week. “At that 1,000-hours mark, students are eligible for graduation as well as their Airline Transport Pilot rating, and guaranteed a spot in Piedmont’s next new hire training class,” Ben Jaffee, senior assistant chief flight instructor at K-State, said in the article.
Piedmont, a wholly owned subsidiary of American Airlines Group Inc., also provides through its cadet program a guaranteed job path to American Airlines once student pilots are ready to transition in their career.
Students who have earned their certified flight instructor rating and have been accepted into Piedmont Airlines’ cadet program, following an interview process, are eligible to receive tuition reimbursement after the completion of 500 hours of flight time, a press release on the Kansas State website explains. The program provides a financial incentive for every 100 hours achieved thereafter until completing the Airline Transport Pilot minimums required. Once a certified flight instructor attains these minimums, he or she will join Piedmont Airlines as a first officer with a guaranteed job at American Airlines in about five years.
“Kansas State Polytechnic is excited to be teaming up with an organization that is invested in the long-term success of our students,” said Jaffee. “This partnership gives professional pilot students a direct connection with industry, additional financial support and a defined career route even before graduating. We want to provide our students with the best educational experience possible and this new opportunity enriches the value of what our degree program has to offer.” More info about the program can be found on their website: https://www.k-state.edu/media/newsreleases/2018-03/piedmont32918.html