West Los Angeles College’s aviation maintenance team placed fourth out of 25 school teams and 16th out of 68 overall teams consisting of licensed maintenance professionals in the armed forces, domestic and international airline teams as well as other schools at 2018 Aerospace Maintenance Competition (AMC) in Orlando. West even placed ahead of several of the professional teams sponsored by companies such as American Airlines, United Airlines and Quantas Airlines.
The five-member team was led by team captain Yolanda Gong who so impressed United Airlines professionals that she was invited to interview and also to tour the United Airlines hangars at San Francisco International Airport. Gong outshined 130 nominated students to win the Snap-On Professionalism Golden Wrench Award, marking the second-consecutive year that a woman from West has won this prestigious award.
Gong twice more stood on the award ceremony stage, once as a recipient of the Phoebe Omlie Scholarship Award and again as the competitor with the overall fastest time in the Specto Scientific Oil Analysis event. For placing first in the Oil Analysis, Spectro Scientific presented West with an $11,000 oil spectrometer for education and training enrichment which will give West students hands-on experience with cutting-edge training material.
The program recently received Strong Workforce Stars from the Office of the California Community College State Chancellor in recognition of recent graduates realizing an over 110% increase earnings.