Atlantic County has been awarded a $100,000 grant to advance plans for the creation of an aviation and technical academy at the Atlantic City International Airport. The award is from the New Jersey Economic Development Authority’s inaugural Innovation Planning Challenge. “This is yet another positive step in the development of an aviation industry that will serve to diversify our regional economy,” said Atlantic County executive Dennis Levinson. “This grant along with the recent $120,000 grant award to our Atlantic County Economic Alliance for the implementation of an aviation strategy will allow us to leverage our assets at the Atlantic City Airport and the FAA Technical Center to attract new business and meet workforce demands.” “These efforts directly correlate with Governor Murphy’s focus on bringing innovation and technology jobs to New Jersey,” said Levinson, “and his interest in the state reclaiming its prominence as a global leader in innovation.” The $100,000 award will assist in developing the Atlantic County Aviation and Technical Academy that will help meet a growing national and local demand for aviation mechanics. A study conducted by Boeing estimates the need for an additional 650,000 maintenance technicians over the next two decades. The skills acquired at the academy will also be applicable to wind turbine maintenance and repair.