5th Annual Drone Showcase held at the Private Industry Council in Greensburg, PA

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The Private Industry Council of Westmoreland/Fayette, Inc. (PIC) hosted its 5th Annual Drone Showcase at its main office at 219 Donohoe Road, Greensburg, PA, on June 26th. 18 of 25 participants from this year’s program were able to demonstrate their skills that were learned during the in-school youth program by flying their drones through a timed obstacle course that was set up on-site. The drone participants competed for awards of 1st through 4th place.

The PIC Drone Education Program is funded through the Westmoreland-Fayette Workforce Investment Board (WIB). This program allows students to participate in paid educational training, a paid work experience, and attempt earn an FFA Part 107 Unmanned Aircraft Pilot License. The Drone Education program develops a career pathway in STEAM related careers while also having the opportunity to create a commercial / marketing tool for local businesses and obtain a firsthand look at different careers involving drones. Drones are being used in a few career paths such as military, emergency services like police and fire departments, wildlife management, construction/contracting, real estate, and so many more. These skills are being used more and more with the development of jobs and opportunities.

The Drone Education Program had great success this past program year and had a group of dedicated students who participated from the Belle Vernon, Burrell, Connellsville, Frazier, Greater Latrobe, Hempfield, Laurel Highlands, Ligonier Valley, Mt. Pleasant, Norwin, Penn Trafford, and Southmoreland School Districts and PA Cyber. We were happy to have Westmoreland County Commissioner Ted Kopas, shown below with CEO/President, Shujuane Martin, join student friends and family members in addition to representatives from work sites from the work experience to enjoy the drone flight competition and to view the commercials the students produced.


The program consisted of 61 hours of paid educational training. This training included four Saturday sessions with our FAA Part 107 certified Youth Specialist, Mike Lavelle, who provided flight training and flight principals to prepare students to take the FAA Flight 107 Licensing Exam. It also included independent study hours with the Pilot Institute curriculum, study groups and fieldtrips orientated to drone used in career fields. After passing the exam, students completed 25 hours of paid work experience using their drones in the workforce. During that experience they also received hands-on editing introduction and guidance to create a commercial for their local worksite.

If you would like more information, please contact the Youth Programs Supervisor, Samantha Nicholson at slnicholson@privateindustrycouncil.com or 724-836-2600, ext. 207.

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