New drone program hopes to help students land jobs

CLIFTON FORGE, Va. (WDBJ7) - New technology is flying into classrooms at Dabney S. Lancaster Community College.

For the first time the college is giving students the opportunity to take an entire program focused on operating and maintaining drones.

"The applications are virtually endless," Workforce Programming Coordinator Doug Jones said.

Classes at Dabney S. Lancaster Community College kick off on Wednesday.

"Got a lot of new and exciting things going on at the college," Academic Affairs Vice President Ben Worth said.

That includes the new Unmanned Aerial Systems Maintenance and Operation Technician certificate.

"The career studies certificate teaches our students how to fly and operate drones as well as do some maintenance to keep them operational"

The program is going to give students a new perspective in their field of study.

"Drones are really adopted more than just a toy or just a hobby, people are starting to realize how important they really are for so many different industries," Jones said.

Starting this semester, about a dozen Forestry students will be working towards their drone certificate.

"Our foresters they learn how to do measurements of land areas, they look at the health of the trees in the area they are surveying. And drones are a great way to cut down the time to do all that work,” Worth said.

Giving them skills that will hopefully land them a job.

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