When James Matlock left the United States Marines, he wanted to learn a new trade that paid good money in an in-demand industry. Unlike many PIA students, Matlock says he came to PIA with no specific interest in aviation, but that changed halfway through his first semester when the passion and enthusiasm of Matlock’s instructors sparked his massive interest in aeronautics.
After graduating from PIA Hagerstown in December of 2020, Matlock began work at Dowty, a GE aviation company specializing in the manufacture, repair, and overhaul of propellers.
“My most memorable moment was walking into the shop on my first day and seeing massive 800-pound propellers dangling from lifts while mechanics worked underneath,” recalls Matlock. “The sheer size of the large-scale plane components leaves you kind of awed. Also, the first time I performed a solo composite repair and my peers came up to inspect my work and congratulated me on a perfect job really resonated with me. There’s an immense sense of accomplishment you receive when people who’ve been doing a job for years praise your work.”