Penn College crew engages in Aerospace Day at state Capitol

Published 05.09.2024

Photos provided

Faculty & Staff
Emily P. Woolson (right), a Pennsylvania College of Technology aviation maintenance technology student from Biglerville, assists Sen. Gene Yaw in assembling a laser-cut model airplane at the inaugural Aerospace Day at the state Capitol. On left is fellow student Grace C. Seletzky, of Hanover.

Four Pennsylvania College of Technology aviation maintenance technology students, along with two instructors and two college staffers, took part in the inaugural Aerospace Day at the state Capitol. Held Tuesday, the event highlighted opportunities in the aerospace and aviation industries in Pennsylvania.

Penn College was part of a select group of aerospace and aviation industry and higher education representatives, including American Airlines, United Airlines, Astrobotic, Leonardo Helicopters, Lockheed Martin, NASA and Penn State, who met with the office of Lt. Gov. Austin Davis to discuss challenges and opportunities in building the workforce needed to maintain and grow these vital sectors. Both airlines cited the dire need for airframe and avionics technicians among their biggest concerns.

Aerospace Day was hosted by Davis, in partnership with the Pennsylvania Chamber of Business and Industry, Keystone Space Collaborative, and students from Spring Grove Area High School's rocketry team, one of the 100 national finalists in the upcoming American Rocketry Challenge.

"While Florida and Texas may get all of the attention for having big NASA centers, it's important for young people in Pennsylvania to know that they can pursue their aerospace dreams right here in the Commonwealth," said Davis. "That's why we're so excited to host Aerospace Day at the Capitol with Spring Grove Area High School's rocketry team. We're thrilled to show off what they can do, and we're encouraging other young people, especially young women, to check out STEM careers."

Penn College was represented by students Tyler J. Barnes, of Montoursville; Jonathan W. Darraugh, of Weatherly; Grace C. Seletzky, of Hanover; and Emily P. Woolson, of Biglerville. Also joining were aviation maintenance instructors Matthew D. Krepps and Korey T. Keyser; Kimberly S. Cordrey, aviation center assistant; and Steven P. Keen, assistant dean of transportation technologies.

The Penn College contingent connected with Sen. Gene Yaw (R-23) and state Reps. Jamie L. Flick (R-83) and Clint Owlett (R-68). Yaw chairs the college’s Board of Directors, and Owlett serves as a member of the board. They also interacted with Sen. Kristen Phillips-Hill (R-York), who has twice visited Penn College and whose district includes Spring Grove Area High School. As well, the college group had the opportunity to tour the Capitol and access the Senate floor with Nick Troutman, Sen. Yaw’s chief of staff, while the Senate was in caucus.

The National Aeronautics and Space Administration supports 1,870 jobs in Pennsylvania, and there have been 18 NASA astronauts from the state.

At the conclusion of Aerospace Day, the Spring Grove Area High School’s rocketry team launched a rocket 200 feet into the air.

Penn College offers a bachelor’s degree in aviation maintenance technology, an associate degree in aviation technology and an aviation maintenance technician certificate. For more information, call the School of Engineering Technologies at 570-327-4520.

Yaw and Woolson continue their work with the B26 kit airplane made from real aircraft aluminum skin and solid aircraft rivets.
Krepps (left) speaks with Flick (on right), as Phillips-Hill (in turquoise suit) and students from Spring Grove Area High School's rocketry team engage with Penn College students.
On the Senate floor, the Penn College group pauses for a photo. From left, front row: Seletzky, Cordrey, Woolson, Barnes, Darraugh and Keen. In the back row are instructors Krepps (left) and Keyser.
Woolson and Seletzky connect with Owlett.
Troutman (smiling at the camera) enjoys the model airplane exercise ...
and gets hands-on with a Penn College assignment.
Darraugh and Barnes discuss aviation opportunities with Aerospace Day attendees.