• Blackhawk Technical College AMT Program – is it history?

    Posted on November 11th, 2011 John Dorcey No comments

    Blackhawk Technical College (BTC), like many public institutions, is facing financial challenges. The school’s Aviation Maintenance Technician (AMT) program is being targeted for elimination. BTC President Tom Eckert says that eliminating the 62-year-old program will save the school district $367,000. Eckert claims, “While some graduates of the college’s aviation mechanics program get jobs in the district, many move elsewhere to work.” This reasoning seems even more bizzare when it is understood that many students in the program come from outside the district because of the school’s outstanding reputation. For many graduates it is simply a case of moving back home. It is hard to comprehend that graduates moving away to get a job is the reason for a program’s elimination. Surely many graduates of the school’s 60 other programs move away when they graduate or are offered jobs outside of the district.

    Eckert states that he has no choice but to eliminate the program since state funds have been reduced by 30% and levies are capped. But elimination of the AMT program will not solve the budget shortfall. The $367,000 savings pale in comparison to the $4 million increase in the school’s 2011 budget over 2010. More of President Eckert’s thoughts are included in this article.

    A grassroots effort to save the program is underway. Graduates and supporters of the school’s AMT program suggest an across the board cut impacting all programs rather than elimination of a single program. Letters should be addressed to members of the BTC board. The proposal to elminate the program will be presented to the school’s board for consideration at their November 16 meeting. The board will meet at the school’s Beloit campus Eclipse Center, corner of Henry Avenue and Riverside Street, Beloit, WI. The meeting begins at 6:30 PM.

    Many supporters of the Wisconsin Aviation Hall of Fame (WAHF) and two of its inductees are BTC graduates. Nine of 17 scholarships presented by WAHF have gone to BTC students.