The Jerry Taylor & Nancy Bryant Foundation gifted $1.9 million to Broward College to support aviation and avionics education at the college’s Emil Buehler Aviation Institute.
The gift establishes the Taylor-Bryant Avionics Honors Scholarship to be awarded to five students each year, supports the expansion of a new hangar where an avionics line lab will be housed, and funds further development of a bachelor’s degree program in aerospace science and an associate degree in avionics. The intention of the gift is to ignite student enthusiasm for the study of aviation and create a pathway to propel them to success.
“We wanted to give back to the industry that got me started in my career and to help those on the same path,” said Taylor-Bryant Foundation Trustee Jerry Taylor, who early on worked in avionics for the U.S. Air Force and McDonnell Douglas Aircraft Company. “We recognized that Broward College was truly a forward-thinking institution, particularly in the fast-moving field of avionics, offering a course of study that few educational institutions provided. It was a natural fit for us to support their efforts.”
Taylor, with wife and fellow foundation trustee Nancy Bryant, recently attended the 50th anniversary celebration of the Emil Buehler Aviation Institute, where their interest in Broward College’s commitment to aviation was further sparked.
“We saw that investments needed to be made to ensure that a four-year degree program in aerospace sciences got off the ground,” said Bryant. “Contributing to the Aviation Institute lined up perfectly with the vision of our foundation.”
According to the Greater Fort Lauderdale Alliance, the local aviation industry is a multibillion-dollar sector, which includes airlines, airframe and engine manufacturers, avionics, component parts suppliers, maintenance repair and overhaul facilities, and allied industries. “South Florida’s aviation sector is a vital target industry we expect to continue to generate high value jobs,” said Bob Swindell, President and CEO of the Alliance. “Broward College has been an outstanding partner in equipping a qualified local workforce by offering degree and certificate programs in this important industry.”
Bureau of Labor Statistics data reports the median annual wage for aircraft and avionics equipment mechanics and technicians is approximately $58,390. Graduates from Broward College aviation programs have filled these high-wage, high-demand positions in South Florida for more than 50 years.
“Mr. Taylor and Ms. Bryant clearly recognize the value of offering students great opportunity by scholarship support and the augmentation of our cutting-edge aviation program,” said Broward College President J. David Armstrong, Jr. “We’re very grateful for their generosity and its ultimate impact of providing students with successful careers in South Florida’s thriving aviation industry.”