NBAA presented Greg Fink with a Technical Reward and Career Scholarship program (Tracs) scholarship for a Falcon 900EX maintenance course. “It’s a chance to go back to a more technical rather than formal school,” Fink said. “It will hopefully give me an advantage over other applicants with otherwise similar credentials.”
Fink attended Southwestern Illinois College, where he received his airframe mechanic certificate then transferred to the University of Central Missouri, where he finished his powerplant rating and then went on to earn a B.S. in aviation maintenance management in May 2006.
After graduation, Fink went to Army Basic and Advanced Training, became a crew chief on Apache helicopters for the Missouri National Guard, and returned to the university in November 2006. He completed a master’s of science in aviation safety in December 2007 then went to work for Anheuser-Busch as a mechanic. The company operates two Falcon 900EXs, a 900B, four 50EXs and several smaller aircraft and helicopters.
In making the presentation, Tracs innovator Mark Dietrich (of Chalk Hill Estate Winery) said, “If we had a dream applicant, Greg Fink is it; he is exactly what we had in mind. This will help him jump-start a career that could very well take him to the position of director of maintenance.”
Word has apparently not gotten out about the value of Tracs. For 2006 and 2007 there were so few applicants there was about one per available scholarship.
“This year we had a little more competition, but the industry recognizes the issues with attracting and retaining new talent, so as the number of applicants increases, so too do the number of scholarships,” Dietrich said.
NBAA will announce the 2009 scholarship program next month with an application closing date of February 15. Winners will be announced at the 2009 Maintenance Management Conference in New Orleans.