HENDERSON, Ky. (WEHT) – Vincennes University has announced a $4.5 million state-funded plan to improve Indiana’s aviation industry and better support the growth of the Indianapolis International Airport.

VU’s plan will improve its educational impact by doubling the enrollment of the University’s Aviation Maintenance program. In addition, VU will boost its high school dual credit offerings, enabling high school students to get a head start in their aviation education.

State Senator Jeff Raatz, who is the chair of the Senate Education and Career Development Committee, was in attendance for the announcement at the University’s Aviation Technology Center in Indianapolis and spoke at the event on Thursday.

“This is one of the shining examples of how our educational systems can work,” Senator Raatz said. “I applaud Vincennes University and AAR. We will see a great return on the investment throughout the lives of the students who are trained here. With programs like this, we win as a state.”

According to VU President Dr. Chuck Johnson, “This initiative allows Vincennes University the opportunity to help develop the next generation of aviation technicians and showcases our dedication to offering rewarding career paths for Hoosiers, offering them a chance to excel in an industry that is vital to our region’s growth and prosperity. We are also grateful for the investment made by our state leaders and for the ongoing support of our industry partners, paving the way for a brighter future for aviation in Indiana.”

VU’s efforts will address the demand for professionals within the aviation industry and help meet the workforce needs of industry partners and the Indianapolis airport, strengthening its position as a vital aviation hub in the United States.

“Vincennes University’s focus aligns closely with the objectives of our industry partners, and we’re honored to provide access to high-quality education and affordable pathways to fulfilling careers in aviation maintenance,” VU Director of Aviation Michael Gehrich said. “The demand for aviation maintenance technicians is great. Together, we can cultivate a skilled workforce that will help elevate aviation in Indiana and the country.”