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Eastern Kentucky University has hired David Bledsoe as its Director of Regional Aviation Maintenance Academies, now in their preliminary stages.

The Regional Aviation Maintenance Academies will provide those displaced by the downturn in the coal industry, as well as veterans and others seeking employment in Kentucky Appalachian Regional Commission counties the opportunity to earn certification as aviation maintenance technicians. Training will begin in classrooms at EKU and KCTCS partner campuses and end with hands-on training at partner airports.

Proposed training locations include EKU’s East Region and South Region Campus, London-Corbin Airport, Hazard-Perry County Regional Airport, and Big Sandy Regional Airport. An expected start date is to be determined.

Bledsoe brings more than 28 years of experience to the program, having worked in several areas of the aviation maintenance field including project management, general aviation, heavy aircraft maintenance, engineering, and training. He has also worked in contract with the Army Special Forces and Army National Guard aircraft.

“The creation of four regional Aviation Maintenance Technician centers is both exciting and ambitious,” said Dr. Melissa Newman, Executive Director of Regional Programming & Regional Stewardship. “Finding the right person to direct this work and to manage the operations was crucial. I feel confident that David’s passion for all things aviation maintenance and his depth of experience makes him the ideal director.”

Bledsoe has a Bachelor of Science degree in business management from Western Governors University and an A.S. in specialized technology from Pittsburgh Institute of Aeronautics. His other credentials include certifications from the Computing Technology Industry (CompTIA), Federal Aviation Administration, and Federal Communications Commission.

“I am looking forward to working with everyone and to making this program very successful,” Bledsoe said.  “This is a great opportunity to reach out to our Appalachian region and impact the communities in a positive way.”

For more information on the AMT program, visit