by Mike Vogel
In response to demand from the aviation and aerospace industries for industry-certified workers, Eau Gallie High School in Melbourne launched an aircraft assembly and fabrication technician program in 2015. It started small. “I borrowed some pencils and paper so I could order some pencils and paper,” says its teacher, Bill McInnish, a 22-year aviation industry veteran.
The Eau Gallie program is one of the industry certification classes created since the Florida Legislature passed the Career and Professional Employment Act in 2007.
The law was the brainchild of then-Sen. Don Gaetz. As Okaloosa schools superintendent in the early 2000s, Gaetz championed “Choice Institutes,” where students earned industry-recognized workplace certifications and interned at area businesses.)
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