A flying success

With the occasional drone of an airplane flying over head, 16 Fleming College students celebrated their graduation from the Aircraft Interior Fundamentals Certificate program at the Peterborough Airport on September 18.A joint initiative with local company Flying Colours, the program trained displaced workers in the field of aircraft refurbishment. It is the only program of its kind in Ontario and one of only two in Canada.The ceremony gathered family and friends as well as Fleming College and Flying Colours staff for the celebration.“We’re so pleased to be able to share this moment with you,” said Lucy Ellen Kanary, Dean of Fleming’s School of Continuing Education and Skilled Trades. “You’re joining a long, long line of Fleming graduates.”Ms. Kanary also offered her thanks to the Flying Colours family for their partnership in the program.“The word unique is sometimes overused,” said Fleming College President Dr. Tony Tilly. “But it really applies to this program.“You are a group of people that came together and wanted to learn, learn, learn – and get as much as possible out of this experience.“I truly believe this program is emblematic of what needs to happen in our society.”Graduates of the 16-week program are qualified to refurbish aircraft interiors and have learned a subset of skills that includes upholstery, carpentry, cabinet and other fixture installations as well as minor electrical work.Valedictorian Shaun McCrum spoke to the apprehension some students felt in returning to the classroom after 10 to 15 years of being out of school.However he lauded the group’s “astronomical” success in rising to the challenge.“Everything was a team effort,” he said. “Everyone helped each other. Everyone was patient with each other.“As a class, we have met complete success.”Flying Colours’ Kate Gillespie told the graduates they are “definitely making history.”“There are not too many others doing the same thing,” she said. Flying Colours, whose operations are headquartered at the Peterborough Airport, started operations 30 years ago. It now has 130 employees and is a full completion centre for aircraft refurbishment, including upholstery, avionics, and exterior finishing.Additional partners that made the program possible include the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities, Victoria County Career Services, Watton Employment Services, and TOWES. 

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