Fullerton launches first federal registered drone internship program

fullerton drone internship

California-based Fullerton College has launched a new internship initiative called Hornet Drone Piloting Apprenticeship Program. It’s a first-of-its-kind federal- and state-registered apprenticeship program for drone operators focused on providing opportunities for underrepresented communities.

According to Fullerton, the US Department of Labor and the California Department of Apprenticeship Standards recently registered this apprenticeship as the flagship US college program. And now, the on-campus Fullerton Drone Lab is ready to empower drone pilots with the skills needed to work in industries such as utilities, public safety, and ecology. 

Once accepted into the program, students will be required to complete 11 units that will earn them Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) certifications.

After that, a partnership with Friends of Fullerton College Foundation and Hope Builders Career Connections, a local social enterprise staffing agency, will pair students with employment partners to complete the required 600 hours of paid on-the-job training.

The entire program, developed through the California Apprenticeship Initiative, can be completed within a year. And as Jay Seidel, Fullerton College professor and director of the Fullerton Drone Lab, puts it:

This program will provide a definable opportunity to help further develop the workforce of tomorrow.

Zoot Velasco, executive director of the Friends of Fullerton College Foundation, adds:

We have set the program up so a student with need can walk on campus and go from start to finish without having to pay a dime for the program. They just need to invest their sweat equity. We see this as a potential generational change for families.

Read: AirModo drone insurance app launches reward program with USI

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