While working two jobs — one in a factory and another as a traveling photographer — Joshua Akins felt the urge to change careers. He’d visited PIA’s Hagerstown original campus in high school, but seeing its new facility got Akins excited about working in the school’s shop.
Even before he graduated, Akins was offered a job at a new location for Airborne Tactical Advantage Company (ATAC) in Panama City, FL. He now works at Tyndall Air Force Base, where ATAC provides adversary jet training missions for U.S. Air Force fighter pilots flying Mirage F1 fighter jets.
“At PIA, I dreamed of earning a position like this, but I didn’t expect it to come right out of school,” says Akins. “Now I spend my days rushing to prepare jets and troubleshoot any discrepancies pilots may encounter on their previous flight before they go back up for their next mission an hour later. It’s a lot more stressful than I thought my first aviation job would be, but I thrive for it. Honestly, every day here is like living a dream.”