SFU Receives $1 Million Dollar ARC POWER Grant for Aviation Maintenance Technician School

Marie Young, University Marketing & Communications | 10/18/2022

Saint Francis University has been awarded a $1 million grant by the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) to launch an Aviation Maintenance Technician School.  

“The grant will enable us to support much-needed workforce development programming in the field of aviation maintenance through our collaboration with the Johnstown-Cambria County Airport Authority, Nulton Aviation Services, Cambria County, SkyWest Airlines, and Lockheed Martin Aeroparts, Inc.,” shared University President Fr. Malachi Van Vassell, T.O.R. Ph.D. 

The new Aviation Maintenance Technician School will be sited at the John Murtha Johnstown Cambria County Airport and will offer a 14 CFR 147-certified training curriculum for Aviation Maintenance Technicians. It will enable students to gain in-demand skills in a program that is 19 months long and will help create pathways into secure, well-paying, family-sustaining jobs in the growing aviation industry and related sectors. The University anticipates launching programming in late 2024 through Division of Professional Studies

This award is part of a nearly $47 million package supporting 52 projects in 181 coal-impacted counties in 13 states through ARC’s POWER (Partnerships for Opportunity and Workforce and Economic Revitalization) Initiative. The POWER Initiative directs federal resources to economic diversification projects in Appalachian communities affected by job losses in coal mining, coal power plant operations, and coal-related supply chain industries.  

Including today’s award package, ARC has invested nearly $366.6 million in 447 projects impacting 360 coal-impacted counties since POWER was established in 2015. A new evaluation conducted by Chamberlain/Dunn indicates that a majority of POWER projects met or exceeded output and outcome targets, with ARC’s investments projected to have helped create or retain more than 39,600 jobs and prepare over 100,000 workers and students for new opportunities in entrepreneurship, broadband, tourism, and other growing industries. 

The University has been a strong advocate for developing programming that supports Pennsylvania’s workforce needs including combating shortages in the aviation industry. SFU currently offers an Aviation Specialization leading to a commercial pilot’s license in collaboration with Nulton Aviation Services. The University is also an Elite Partner in SkyWest’s Airline's Pilot Pathways program. 


About the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) The Appalachian Regional Commission is an economic development partnership agency of the federal government and 13 state governments focusing on 423 counties across the Appalachian Region. ARC’s mission is to innovate, partner, and invest to build community capacity and strengthen economic growth in Appalachia. 


Robert Young and Br. Marius Storm with Governor Wolf in Maryland accepting the award on the University’s behalf.
Robert Young, SFU Office of Advancement (left) and Br. Marius Strom, T.O.R of the School of STEAM (right) in Frostburg, Maryland accepting the award on the University’s behalf with Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf on Oct. 17.