UNALAKLEET—Norton Sound Economic Development Corporation’s (NSEDC) Education Employment and Training (EET) department announces the Commercial Pilot Scholarship and the Loan Repayment Program.
In response to a shortage of commercial pilots in the Norton Sound region, the reliance on air service throughout the region, and the local economic opportunities in the aviation field, the Norton Sound Board of Directors (Board) approved the Commercial Pilot Scholarship and Commercial Pilot Loan Repayment Program in June.
“As we all know, trained and committed pilots in the Norton Sound region is a necessity,” NSEDC Board Chairman Dan Harrelson said. “Giving residents the opportunity to receive training in this field just makes sense. Our board is thrilled to announce these programs that will bring economic benefit to individuals and the region.”
The NSEDC Commercial Pilot Scholarship is for Norton Sound residents pursuing education and training to become commercial pilots working for Norton Sound regional air carriers. To be eligible, residents must be enrolled at an accredited college or university pursuing a degree in professional piloting or enrolled at an established flight training school pursuing professional flight training with the intent of becoming a commercial pilot in the Norton Sound region. The current award amount for the Commercial Pilot Scholarship is $1,500 per semester or certificate/rating, which will be awarded in addition to NSEDC’s current higher education/vocational award of $3,500, for a total of $5,000.
The NSEDC Commercial Pilot Loan Repayment Program is for Norton Sound residents who permanently resided in the region prior to obtaining their degrees or certification, and have been employed full time as a commercial pilot with an air carrier based in Alaska for a minimum of one year with the intent of being stationed in the Norton Sound region. Residency in the Norton Sound region must be established prior to attending college or flight training school and maintained throughout schooling. The program repays up to a total of $20,000 of a student’s loans used for professional flight training. Annual payments will be made to the lending agency over a five-year period. Upon their second year of flying full time in Alaska, applicants meeting all other requirements will be eligible for the loan repayment program. To continue in the program, participants will need to reside in the Norton Sound region by the time they apply for their second annual loan payment.
“Flying jobs are in demand and imperative to our region,” Board Member Douglas Swanson said. “Supporting Norton Sound residents who pursue commercial piloting in fixed-wing or rotary aircraft is yet another means to which NSEDC fulfills its mission. My late father, a ‘homegrown’ commercial pilot, would be proud.”
For more information on NSEDC’s new Commercial Pilot Scholarship and Loan Repayment Program, contact EET Director Niaomi Brunette at firstname.lastname@example.org or (907) 274-2248.
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