Tarrant County College hosts competition that may help determine the future of aviation

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FORT WORTH -- It`s all hands on deck and the future of the aviation industry may depend on it.

"There’s a huge aviation presence in North Texas but the demand is worldwide. We cannot train enough mechanics and pilots fast enough," says Clint Grant of Tarrant County College.

There`s no doubt about it! That's why there`s a full-court press to recruit the best of the best out there and one way to do that is with competition.

Saturday was the Eighth Annual Aviation Maintenance Olympics with seven different schools showing off their tech skills.

Ray Bacon of Tarrant County College says, "The PAMA Olympics are for the students and it’s a competition to show off the mechanical skills that they've learned in the program. There are prizes for it but mostly it’s to introduce the kids to the local vendors; they get to see the students the students get to see them. They all compete, they get scores that get averaged together we have a team winner, then we have, individual winners, first second, third."

It's a chance for them to get noticed in an industry that's certainly hiring! From now through 2035, the industry will need more than two million new hires.

And once the students graduate, the opportunity for a concrete career as an airline mechanic becomes very real.

"We’ve had students who come through the program with less than stellar backgrounds and then they learn that this is something they become passionate about, also have a good career a lucrative salary and a lot of responsibility," explained Darryl Erby of Tarrant County College.

With programs like this, the next generation of aviation technicians won't be flying under the radar much longer.