May 21, 2015

Nicolas Yale, Director, Aviation Programs

Nicolas Yale, Director, Aviation Programs

JAMESTOWN, N.C. – Guilford Technical Community College announced that Nicolas Yale has joined GTCC as director of Aviation Programs. Yale’s appointment was effective on May 1. He will be responsible for leading the college’s growing signature program.

Director of Aviation Programs is a new position at the college. As GTCC’s aviation curriculum continues to grow in size and complexity, and the demand for skilled workers in the industry rises, it is essential to the program’s continued success to hire a leader who is focused exclusively on aviation, said GTCC President Randy Parker.

Yale brings 25 years of experience and knowledge in the aviation industry — primarily in avionics and maintenance as a technician, instructor, reliability analyst and senior manager. Most recently, he worked for Boeing Defense, Space & Security in Seattle, Wash., where he served as senior manager of Integrated Logistics Support (ILS) Planning and Management for Boeing’s new aerial refueling KC-46A Tanker designed for the United States Air Force.

“Nick Yale is a change agent,” Parker said. “He’s transformed sectors of the industry through team building, excellence and operational improvements. Now, he’s shifting his focus to education.”

Yale’s desire to educate and to train the next generation of aviation professionals rose to the forefront when he began to assess the next phase of his career. He said he realized what made him happiest were the moments when he was training technicians and future leaders of the aviation industry.

“I got a lot of satisfaction from that, more than I did anything else,” Yale said. “I think my desire to teach is why I’ve always been successful as a manager.

“Leading GTCC’s Aviation program is an opportunity for me to give back to future technical leaders of the industry,” he continued. “I’ve had many opportunities to hire aviation technicians in my career, so I know the requirements of the industry and the importance of equipping students with the skills they need to thrive in this exciting and growing field.”

“GTCC’s aviation program has a long-standing reputation for excellence,” Parker said. “We not only attract high-caliber students across the Southeast, but also experienced leaders like Nick Yale who recognize our college is a leader in the future of aviation. GTCC plays a pivotal role in providing a quality education and molding aviation students who are competent and capable in their abilities. Under Nick’s leadership, our aviation program will continue to grow and flourish.”

More About Nicolas Yale

Yale began his aviation career with Delta Airlines as a senior aircraft avionics technician in Los Angeles. His role later expanded to technical instructor for aircraft engines and systems, where he worked with a team to develop and implement the training curriculum for new engine and airframe systems. Later, he served as a fleet team reliability analyst to track, develop and implement operational, mechanical and maintenance program performance improvements.

Yale went on to serve 15 years at FedEx Express in various leadership roles, initially as a senior reliability engineering analyst, implementing fleet improvements to engine and airframe systems, components and processes. He advanced to senior manager with various regional roles overseeing domestic and international operations. At one point in his career, his responsibilities spanned 17 states and nine countries from Alaska to Argentina. While working for FedEx, he earned his Lean Green Belt certification for Lean continual improvement projects under his management.

A Michigan native, Yale received a bachelor’s degree in aviation technologies and avionics and a master’s of business administration in aviation from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University. He has obtained licenses in airframe and powerplant, FCC General Radio Telephone Operator (GRTO), and as a private pilot.

About GTCC’s Aviation Program: GTCC’s Aviation Management Technology curriculum began in fall 1969. By 1970, the State Board of Education had approved a two-year program in Avionics and a one-year program in Air Frame and Powerplant Mechanics. During the ensuing 45 years, GTCC’s aviation department has steadily grown into the biggest and best in North Carolina, and it has established a national reputation as well. Aviation companies in the Triad area, including HAECO and Honda Aircraft, rely heavily upon GTCC to provide them with qualified aviation technicians, mechanics and pilots.

The aviation program has expanded from its original two programs in 1970 to four degree programs today: Aviation Systems Technology, Avionics Technology, and Aviation Management and Career Pilot Technology (Aviation Management and Career Pilot options). A fifth degree in Aerostructure Manufacturing and Repair Technology is expected to begin in fall 2015. GTCC also offers several related certificate programs. For more information, visit

Guilford Technical Community College is the third largest of 58 institutions in the NC Community College System. GTCC serves approximately 45,000 students annually from four major campuses and three specialized centers. Learn more at


— Carla Kucinski/GTCC