NWFSC enters into partnership with the Crestview Technology Air Park and the Hsu Educational Foundation to launch Airframe and Powerplant programing in the Panhandle

Photo Caption: (Back row, left to right): NWFSC Trustee Maj Gen Don Litke, Dan Perri, NWFSC Trustee Maj Gen Rudy Wright, Okaloosa County Airports Director Tracy Stage, NWFSC Foundation Board Chair Jeff McInnis and NWFSC Trustee Shane Abbott. (Front row, left to right): Hsu Educational Foundation Executive Director Amanda Negron, Okaloosa County Commissioner Carolyn Ketchel, NWFSC Trustee Craig Barker, NWFSC Trustee Chair Brian Pennington, NWFSC Trustee Vice-Chair Lori Kelley, Okaloosa County Economic Development Council Executive Director Nathan Sparks, NWFSC Trustee Charlotte Flynt and NWFSC VP of Academic Affairs Dr. Deborah Kish. (seated, left to right) Hsu Educational Foundation Founder/ CTAP CEO Dr. Paul Hsu and NWFSC President Dr. Devin Stephenson.

NICEVILLE, FL– The Northwest Florida State College Board of Trustees met on November 6, 2019 in a special board meeting during which they unanimously approved a long-term lease with the Crestview Technology Air Park (CTAP) at Bob Sikes Airport and a Memorandum of Agreement with the Hsu Educational Foundation to house its new Airframe and Powerplant Program. This transformational partnership serves as a catalyst for workforce training to support the growing aerospace community in our region.

“A first for Okaloosa County, the A&P Program will make a long and lasting impact not only at Bob Sikes, but in Okaloosa County and across Northwest Florida. It is my understanding, for the next 20 years the world will need 800,000 pilots, 700,000 A&P technicians and 40,000 new airplanes,” said Dr. Paul Hsu, CEO, CTAP. “We are at the right time and the right place! I am excited and look forward to working with the College to make Okaloosa a better place for growing aerospace and other high-tech industries.”

Northwest Florida State College’s collaboration with the Hsu Educational Foundation creates a unique learning environment where students in grades K-12 have the opportunity to utilize the state-of-the-art facilities for STEM education around the College’s A&P programing with the ultimate goal of introducing them to advanced technology in high-growth industry sectors.

Dr. Paul Hsu (left) shakes hands with Dr. Devin Stephenson after signing the lease agreement as part of the launch of the Aireframe and Powerplant programing initiative

Dr. Paul Hsu (left) shakes hands with Dr. Devin Stephenson.

“The Hsu Educational Foundation is committed to inspiring and preparing a strong pipeline of students from an early age to seek and take advantage of these high demand aviation training opportunities, leading to promising careers and a stronger economic future for the region,” said Amanda Negron, Executive Director, Hsu Educational Foundation. “As a liaison with industry employers, we will extend outreach to support and sustain the program’s role as a strong local source of workforce talent for many years to come.”

Also on hand to lend strong support for this pivotal partnership were Carolyn Ketchel, Okaloosa County Commissioner, District Two and Okaloosa County Aviation Board member; Tracy Stage, Okaloosa County Airports Director; and Nathan Sparks, Executive Director of the Economic Development Council – Okaloosa County. Together, we are looking forward to expanding these partnerships to further engage business and industry.

“It is a historic moment for Northwest Florida State College to enter into this agreement with the Crestview Technology Air Park and the Hsu Educational Foundation to bring Airframe and Powerplant programing to our community, and I am humbled to be surrounded by such great visionaries for our College and this region,” said Dr. Devin Stephenson, President, Northwest Florida State College. “I am sincerely appreciative of the enthusiastic support we received from members of our Board of Trustees to advance our mission of educational opportunity, economic development and improvement of the quality of place for the citizens of Okaloosa and Walton Counties. We stand ready to Take Flight and SOAR!”

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