Pittsburgh Institute Adds Myrtle Beach Campus

 - January 18, 2012, 2:58 PM
(l to r) Joe Poacher (FAA inspector), Peg Jackson (Myrtle Beach campus director), Margie Jake (FAA inspector) and Bob Switter (FAA inspector) were on hand for the certification of Pittsburgh Institute’s Myrtle Beach campus.

Pittsburgh Institute of Aeronautics (PIA) opened its third offsite Airframe & Powerplant Mechanic school campus earlier this month in Myrtle Beach, S.C., following receipt of FAA certification on January 4. Classes began at the Myrtle Beach facility on Monday. Five years ago, PIA opened a campus in Youngstown, Ohio, and added another facility in Hagerstown, Md., last April. “It’s an exciting time for us,” said Gary Hoyle, director of campus operations. “I’ve been at Pittsburgh Institute for 38 years, and this is the first time we’ve ever done something like this. It’s working out to be very successful.” PIA spent more than $500,000 on the Myrtle Beach facility, which is housed in a former Air Force hangar that was gutted and refurbished. Local government entities chipped in with financing for the building, which is part of a planned aviation business park at Myrtle Beach Airport. PIA graduates are enjoying strong job prospects, and graduates are fielding multiple job offers, according to Hoyle. “It’s becoming quite competitive. There are jobs available.” One problem, however, is that many non-aviation employers find A&P mechanics to be ideal candidates. “We have several employers that come and try to grab mechanics because of the training,” he said.