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Dayton Community College Trains Students for the Exciting Kind of Drone Jobs

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Monday, March 5, 2012 at 8:04 AM

A drone equipped with cameras and sensors flies through the air during a French disaster-response simulation this year.

Training students for the jobs that are out there -- and those that are coming soon -- is an idea just about everyone supports, from President Barack Obama to Ohio Gov. John Kasich.

It's easier said than done. But Sinclair Community College in Dayton is part of an effort to do just that, the New York Times reports.

Ohio has given defense contractor SAIC millions to expand its Dayton-area operations focused on drones, or unmanned aerial vehicles. The U.S. Army has sent a "veritable air force" of drones to drop bombs on Afghanistan, among other places; and the military has also used drones to conduct surveillance and reconnaissance in Iraq, among other places.

But non-military uses of drones -- like for law enforcement surveillance and aerial photography -- are likely to become more common in the coming years as various industries and politicians push for allowing them in American skies.

So Sinclair Community College is getting in on what it sees as a growing regional industry, the Times says:

After consulting with industry experts, it is offering a certificate in unmanned aerial systems, with courses in piloting the vehicles remotely, maintaining them and operating their cameras. Seventy students are already taking classes in that program, with 67 more planning to this spring.

“Sinclair is working with us to anticipate what the training needs of business will be in the future,” said Jeffrey C. Hoagland, president of the Dayton Development Coalition, an economic development group. “That’s a little risky. But at the end of the day, it’s worth the reward.”

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