Aviation tech program offers wide sky of opportunities

Apr 9, 2024

For Wareham students with dreams of working in aviation, a nearby school offers them the chance: the Aviation Maintenance Technology Program at Cape Cod Community College. 

One Wareham student, Anthony Radicello, is an Air Force veteran and Wareham resident. He said he enjoyed the work he did while serving in the Air Force.  

Radicello has so far “really enjoyed” his experience in the Cape Cod Community College program. He added the teachers are impressive and experienced, and they care about what they do. 

Radicello plans to get an Airframe and Powerplant certification — which he describes as “taking parts off, putting parts on” — before getting certified in avionics, which involves more electrical elements such as wires and screens. 

Airframe and Powerplant certification, provided through the Federal Aviation Administration, is students’ “golden ticket,” said David Ricci, a Wareham resident and admissions counselor with the program. 

“Federal Aviation Administration certification means that not only does aviation want them, GE Aerospace, all the airlines, all the local airports want them, but also … turbine companies come to our career fairs, [and so do] underwater drone companies.”

Justin Gulage, another Wareham resident, came to the program after previously studying automotive mechanics in Brockton. 

Gulage has family in the mechanical field, he said. His brother and uncle are both diesel mechanics, he said. 

“If it weren’t for my uncle Billy, I wouldn’t have went through with it,” he said, adding that his uncle was familiar with the aviation tech program and had flown small planes out of the Plymouth Airport where the program is based. 

Wareham resident Shane Biedugnis is only a few months into the program, and is enjoying it so far. He’s looking at the program as his first step toward getting a pilot’s license, he said. 

“I kind of like airplanes, so I wanted to do something around there,” said Biedugnis.

Ricci said the program is one of the top three aviation schools in the country.

“What we’re training here are men and women to be able to fix anything that flies,” he said. 

According to Ricci, the skills taught in the program are in high demand as there is a “national crisis” for aviation maintenance technicians.

Wareham is a town with a lot of economically challenged families, said Ricci. “We do have a lot of students that graduating from this program would be life changing for them.”

The Wareham participants in the program have the opportunity to stay in the area after graduation. 

Looking on the job search site Indeed, Radicello said he’s found lots of “pretty local” employers looking for people, mentioning Cape Air as one company that hires students and helps with tuition as well. 

Gullage said he plans to stay in Wareham, and that Rhode Island’s T.F. Green International Airport, Boston’s Logan International Airport and multiple smaller regional airports are all within a reasonable commute. 

There are lots of helicopters operating on the South Coast, and they require a lot of maintenance, added Ricci. 

All these opportunities are available through the proximity of the Plymouth Airport and the Cape Cod Community College. 

“It’s crazy to have such a state of the art facility out in the middle of nowhere,” said Ricci.