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Herkimer BOCES students learn about
opportunities in the drone industry

Dec. 17, 2015


Lawrence Brinker
Lawrence Brinker, executive director and general counsel for the NUAIR Alliance, talks to Herkimer-Fulton-Hamilton-Otsego BOCES career and technical education students on Tuesday, Dec. 15, at Herkimer BOCES about the unmanned aircraft system – or drone – industry. During his visit, organized by the Herkimer BOCES School to Careers program, Brinker also talked with Valley Pathways in Technology Early College High School (VP-TECH) and Herkimer Central School District students. School to Careers is looking to increase its partnerships with local businesses and professionals. If you would like to be a part of the School to Careers initiative and expose students in Herkimer BOCES and its 10 component districts to meaningful knowledge and work-readiness skills, please contact STC liaison MaryBeth Napolitano at 315-867-2067 or mnapolitano@herkimer-boces.org.



HERKIMER – Local students heard about the future of the drone industry on Tuesday, Dec. 15, and were told that they have the opportunity to ride the wave of technology to career opportunities.

Lawrence Brinker, executive director and general counsel for NUAIR Alliance, spoke to students about unmanned aircraft systems (UAS, or more commonly referred to as drones).

“What I hope they do is embrace the technology and put that on their list of things to do because there are going to be job opportunities all up and down the line,” Brinker said.

Brinker did a presentation for Herkimer-Fulton-Hamilton-Otsego BOCES career and technical education students, followed by presentations for Valley Pathways in Technology Early College High School (VP-TECH) students and Herkimer Central School District students. The Herkimer BOCES School to Careers program organized the visit.

School to Careers is looking to increase its partnerships with local businesses and professionals. If you would like to be a part of the School to Careers initiative and expose students in Herkimer BOCES and its 10 component districts to meaningful knowledge and work-readiness skills, please contact STC liaison MaryBeth Napolitano at 315-867-2067 or mnapolitano@herkimer-boces.org.

The NUAIR Alliance is a New York based not-for-profit coalition of more than 70 private and public entities and academic institutions working together to operate and oversee unmanned aircraft system test ranges in New York, Massachusetts and Michigan. It is headquartered at Griffiss International Airport in Rome.

NUAIR Alliance’s UAS test site at Griffiss is one of just six test sites in the United States. The test site’s purpose is provide data that will be used to integrate drones into the National Airspace System, and data collected will inform the Federal Aviation Administration’s rules to govern civil and commercial UAS activity.

The state recently announced the Mohawk Valley’s more than $100 million allocation for the Upstate Revitalization Initiative, and the UAS test site was identified as one of the priority projects for the funding.
Brinker, who is an experienced pilot and aviation attorney, discussed the work being done at Griffiss, the current FAA guidance for drones and more.

He shared statistics estimating the UAS industry to create 100,000 new jobs nationwide by 2025 and have an economic impact of $82 billion in that timeframe – with New York projected as the state to receive the ninth largest impact.

“It is a huge, big deal,” he said. “It is going to produce employment opportunities for years to come.”

Brinker told students about the many possible applications for drones such as for monitoring crop growth and other agricultural uses, firefighting, assisting police with public safety, delivering items for Amazon or providing Internet access from a Google drone 60,000 feet above the earth. There also are possibilities for ground-based drones such as highway construction and bridge inspections, he said.

“Learn everything you possibly can about the applications,” Brinker said to students.

Helpful skills to learn to prepare for employment in the industry include computer, communications, technical and building skills, Brinker said.

“It’s not just the high-tech part, but it’s also the construction part,” he said.

There will be some research and development jobs in the industry, but the vast majority of jobs will be the operation and maintenance of unmanned aircraft systems, Brinker said.

“Learn to use a UAS because you will be a hot commodity,” he said.

It will be important for workers to understand the whole system including programming and be able to both operate and maintain the drones, Brinker said.

“Embrace the technology,” he said. “Learn everything you can learn and be willing to accept whatever’s out in front of you.”

Herkimer BOCES School to Careers liaison MaryBeth Napolitano thanked Brinker for sharing his knowledge and expertise with local students.

Students from the Herkimer BOCES career and technical education automotive technology, outdoor power equipment, welding, collision repair, heavy equipment, natural resource management, criminal justice and Information Technology Academy programs were targeted for the presentation because the UAS industry could be a way for the students to apply the skills they’re learning in their classes, Napolitano said.

“This presentation was very relevant for everyone in these programs,” Napolitano said. “And we hope that as Mr. Brinker said, they embrace the technology and build upon their skills.”




Lawrence Brinker


Lawrence Brinker



 
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