VINCENNES, Ind. (WTWO/WAWV) — A local university works to help meet a demand in Indiana’s aviation industry.

Vincennes University recently announced a $4.5 million state-funded initiative to bolster the number of aviation maintenance technicians in Indiana.

VU plans to double the enrollment of its aviation maintenance program and it plans to boost its high school dual credit offerings. Students can earn 16 college credits and complete the general section of the FAA airframe and powerplant certificate while still in high school.

VU’s aviation maintenance program is at their aviation tech center at the Indianapolis Airport. Officials said this expansion will help address a growing need.

“Globally, they need 600,000 aviation maintenance techs in the next 20 years. The demand has been as strong as ever. There’s a shortage almost anywhere you go but it’s vital to the Indianapolis Airport, to continue growing in both passenger and freight traffic, that they have the maintenance pipeline in place,” Tony Hahn, Vice President of Government and Legal Affairs at Vincennes University said.

Hahn also said VU plans to double the size of its aviation maintenance program over the next two years.