Keith Humphrey, president and chief executive officer of Jet AirWerks LLC in Arkansas City, joined Cowley College Foundation Coordinator Lena Spencer in presenting Cowley College students Mason Koehn and Clayton Lessert with a pair of $1,000 scholarships during their Non-Destructive Testing (NDT) class on Feb. 5.
The scholarships came as a surprise to both Koehn and Lessert.
Koehn, who is from Enid, Oklahoma, is majoring in NDT and applied technology. “This is amazing,” he said. “It will help tremendously.”
Lessert is from Blackwell, Oklahoma. The NDT major graduated from Cowley College’s welding program and is in his first year in the NDT program. “This is a great surprise,” he said.
Jet AirWerks LLC began operations as a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Part 145 authorized repair station in 2008.
In 2011, Jet AirParts LLC began operations in the same Arkansas City facility, marketing aftermarket turbine jet engine hardware from the CFM56, CF6 and CF34 engine product lines.
Humphrey said he didn’t have an opportunity to attend college immediately out of high school.
Instead, he spent a decade as a jet engine mechanic in the United States Navy and, since his honorable discharge, has spent the past 30 years working in private-sector aviation repair and aftermarket sales, including for General Electric at Strother Field.
“I had a lot of people help me to get started in this line of work,” Humphrey said. “With this scholarship, we try to find kids that need help paying for college.”
Humphrey has hired several graduates from Cowley College’s Non-Destructive Testing program to work at his company.
“At Jet AirWerks, we do our best to give back to the community, and we believe this scholarship will be beneficial in helping these students finish their education and enter the workforce,” he said.
Tina Grillot, Cowley College’s associate vice president for business and industry, said she was thrilled to have Jet AirWerks step forward and make such a huge impact on these students.
“We hear a lot of businesses urging the community to ‘shop local’, and this is an excellent example of local industry ‘investing local’ for students,” Grillot said.
“Scholarships mean more than just money in the bank. It’s a connection to the community, to a prospective employer, an industry contact, and a resource for mentoring and leadership within their program.”
This information was provided by Cowley College Director of Institutional Communications and Public Relations Rama Peroo.