[Chicago, Illinois, January 17, 2024] – Tuskegee NEXT, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to empowering underrepresented youth, is proud to announce its transformative, no cost for training and supplies, Summer Aviation Program, to be hosted at Illinois Aviation Academy this summer, 2024. Geared towards individuals between the ages of 18 and 20, this initiative aims to instill a passion for aviation while imparting essential education, life skills training, and the potential for future promising career opportunities. Tuskegee NEXT is committed to breaking barriers and ensuring that financial constraints never hinder aspiring aviators from reaching their dreams.
Honoring the legacy of the Tuskegee Airmen, Tuskegee NEXT seeks to transform the lives of under-represented youth through aviation education and career path opportunities.
Illinois Aviation Academy (IAA), a subsidiary of Spartan Education Group (SEG), is thrilled to be a sponsor and host for Tuskegee Next and help train cadets in their summer aviation program at IAA in Chicago, located at DuPage County Airport (“KDPA”). IAA is an FAA-approved part 141 school.
“Illinois Aviation Academy is proud to sit on the Tuskegee Next board and to assist with their summer program as the primary “host” location by providing simulation training, physical fitness training, team/leadership training, and traditional flight training. Cadets will experience the most dynamic learning experience possible,” said Robert Werderich, Executive Vice President of IAA. “We have been able to help nearly all of the TN cadets complete a solo flight and 94% have obtained their FAA Private Pilot certificate.”
According to Boeing’s Pilot and Technician Outlook 2023-2042, the aviation industry is facing
challenges with a shortage of pilots and aviation mechanics. Spartan Education Group (SEG) is committed to distinguishing itself as a source of talent for employers in the U.S. aviation industry. The acquisition of IAA expands one of SEG’s core offerings by providing an additional FAA approved Part 141 flight training option.
IAA’s unwavering dedication to continuous training for students and staff has earned accolades, including the 2018 City Brilliance in Business award from West Chicago. The institution has secured the title of Distinguished and Outstanding Flight School five times, most recently in 2022, and has received five Distinguished Flight Instructor awards, the latest in 2023, from the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (“AOPA”). Adding to its impressive list of achievements, IAA was recently inducted into the Illinois Aviation Hall of Fame in October 2023. These distinctions align with SEG’s commitment to delivering excellent education and training to its students.
Beyond training, IAA has been deeply committed to community involvement. Werderich highlighted the importance of giving back, stating, "Community involvement has been a backbone of IAA from the beginning." The school has actively supported aviation youth programs in West Chicago, contributing to organizations like The Ninety-Nines, the Organization of Black Aerospace Professionals, Explorer Scouts, Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation and Tuskegee NEXT.
About Illinois Aviation Academy (IAA)
Located in West Chicago IL at DuPage County Airport (KDPA), the Illinois Aviation Academy has been training pilots for three decades. Today, IAA's training facility spans 30,000 square feet and houses a fleet of over twenty-five aircraft, including the Cessna 172 and the advanced Cirrus SR-22. IAA provides FAA-approved Part 141 flight training.
About Spartan Education Group
Spartan Education Group, LLC (SEG), headquartered in Chicago IL, acquired Spartan College of Aeronautics and Technology in 2012. Spartan College, established in 1928, has trained over 100,000 pilots and aviation technicians at its four campuses located in the following areas: Tulsa OK, Los Angeles and Riverside CA, and Denver CO. Additionally, SEG owns McAir Aviation flight school in Broomfield CO.