ELIZABETH CITY, N.C. (WAVY) — Elizabeth City State University (ECSU) is seeking 80 high school students to join their new Aviation Workforce Development (AWD) Program.

The Federal Aviation Administration granted the school $269,000 to educate high school students about the wide variety of career opportunities in the aviation industry, and to recruit students into ECSU’s aviation program. College coursework, FAA exams, a drone pilot license, scholarships, and much more will be covered for the students with the grant money.

“The aviation sector is expected to face serious workforce shortages in the near future, and we have the opportunity to provide a wonderful career path for high school students,” said Dr. Kuldeep Rawat, dean of the ECSU School of Science, Aviation, Health, and Technology. “Women and African Americans are heavily underrepresented in the aviation workforce, especially aircraft pilots. Our program will help close the opportunity gap by allowing underrepresented youth to reach their full potential.”

Students who participate in the AWD program will receive over 90 hours of learning by participating in various aviation-related activities and events. They will get to experience life as a college student by staying on campus; using the gymnasium, library, and recreational facilities; and interacting with ECSU students and personnel at all levels.

Twenty students will receive a $4,000 scholarship to pursue an Aviation or Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) degree at ECSU.

Any high school junior or senior who wants to participate can contact Dr. Kuldeep Rawat at KSRAWAT@ECSU.EDU.