Kent State University Awarded FAA Grant to Propel the Next Generation of Aviation Professionals

Kent State University has been selected as one of thirty-two schools nationwide to receive a significant grant from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) aimed at fostering the development of the future workforce in the aviation industry. This $419,708 grant is earmarked for an initiative aimed at bolstering the workforce for aircraft pilots and unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) operators in Northeast Ohio.

A student removes a video headset used to observe drone flight

This initiative is set to introduce a comprehensive workforce development program targeting high school students and teachers across up to 10 partner schools in the region. The program is designed to provide essential educational and training opportunities in aircraft piloting and UAS operation and will target communities historically excluded from STEM, underscoring Kent State’s dedication to extending opportunities to rural, urban, disadvantaged, and underrepresented groups. This not only aims to enrich the diversity of the emerging aviation workforce, but also to spark economic development and foster entrepreneurship within these communities.

“With this generous grant from the FAA, Kent State’s College of Aeronautics and Engineering is poised to make significant strides in aviation workforce development,” said Jason Lorenzon, assistant professor in the college. “Our targeted approach will ensure that high school students and teachers in Northeast Ohio have unprecedented access to high-quality aviation education and training, paving the way for high-paid employment opportunities and contributing to the diversification and growth of the industry.”

The funding is part of the FAA’s Aircraft Pilots Aviation Workforce Development Grants program, which distributes a total of $13.5 million across selected institutions. The initiative seeks to address the growing demand for skilled aviation professionals by supporting educational programs that prepare students for careers as pilots, aviation maintenance technicians, aerospace engineers, and drone operators. Kent State is uniquely positioned to leverage these funds to create a lasting impact on the aviation sector by preparing students for careers as pilots and UAS operators, thereby meeting the industry’s evolving needs.

Kent State’s program will specifically focus on:

  • Providing aircraft pilot and UAS operator educational and training opportunities to high school students.
  • Offering curricula training for high school teachers from up to 10 partner schools.
  • Targeting efforts to reach and include communities historically excluded from STEM fields.

For more information about the College of Aeronautics and Engineering and its programs, please visit

About Kent State University’s College of Aeronautics and Engineering:
The College of Aeronautics and Engineering at Kent State University is a leading force in aeronautics and engineering education, known for its commitment to academic excellence, innovation, and community engagement. With a focus on preparing students for successful careers in a dynamic global landscape, the college offers cutting-edge programs that blend theory with practical, hands-on experiences.

POSTED: Thursday, March 14, 2024 12:51 PM
Updated: Wednesday, March 20, 2024 01:54 PM