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Alabama Aerospace and Aviation High School earns State Commission approval; Free public charter set to open in 2022

Alabama Aerospace and Aviation High School (AAHS) has received approval from the Alabama Public Charter School Commission and is slated to open in the fall of 2022.

The aviation-focused public charter school will prepare a diverse student population for future careers in the aerospace and aviation field.

AAHS founder Ruben Morris says the school will have a profound impact in readying the next generation of students for in-demand careers.

“I’m excited about what this school means for our communities, students, families, and broader workforce development in the state of Alabama,” said Morris. “I’m looking forward to working with our partners and the community to build a school that will provide pathways for students to literally take flight in their academics, and careers”.

The school’s temporary location will be at the Foundation of Life Church in Bessemer, Alabama, while a permanent facility is being built at the Bessemer Municipal Airport.

The free public charter school, which will serve students in grades 9 through 12 from Bessemer and surrounding communities, will enroll an initial freshman class of approximately 130 students and add freshman classes each year until the proposed capacity of 500 students is reached.

Morris believes AAHS will present opportunities to students that are interested in the aviation field and provide them with the skill training necessary to land a job in the state’s ever-expanding aerospace industry.

“AAHS is part of a larger regional workforce development effort that will bring opportunities for any high school student interested in becoming an aircraft maintenance technician or airframe and power plant mechanic,” Morris said, adding that the school hopes to attract students prepared to enter into STEM careers in the aviation and aerospace industry and the United States Military.

According to Morris, the school will offer multiple STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) related career pathways and a college preparatory curriculum. Interested students will be given the opportunity to earn a private pilot or drone license before leaving high school.

To provide aerospace and aviation pathways for its students, the school is set to partner with Delta Tech Ops, Auburn University School of Aviation and the University of Alabama at Birmingham Criminal Justice Department. Also partnering with AAHS are several of Alabama’s historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) including Tuskegee University, Miles College and Alabama State University.

The announcement is yet another indication that the state of Alabama stands ready to meet the demands of its robust aerospace and defense industry by preparing students for life-changing career opportunities which will surely only grow in abundance over the coming years.

For more information, visit alaahs.org.

Dylan Smith is a staff writer for Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @DylanSmithAL