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Mark Hays (standing), the Dallas County Community College District’s vice chancellor for workforce and economic development, discusses DCCCD’s role in a partnership with RMS Aerospace of Addison, the U.S. Department of Labor and the Texas Workforce Commission as Julian Alvarez, TWC commissioner representing labor, participates in the announcement.

​Contact: Ann Hatch

For immediate release — July 19, 2018

(DALLAS) — Drones are everywhere … in the skies as fireworks for the Fourth of July, overhead checking power lines during Texas ice storms, in the air checking crime scenes and over neighborhoods and parks for recreational purposes.

Regardless of application, drones are here to stay in the workplace and at home — and the need for qualified drone pilots will only increase in the future.

Representatives from the U.S. Department of Labor, RMS Aerospace and the Texas Workforce Commission participated in a signing ceremony in Dallas this month that marked the start of the first DOL-registered apprenticeship in unmanned aerial systems, or UAS. RMS Aerospace, a partner company of the Dallas County Community College District, will establish a separate agreement with DCCCD later this year.

“This partnership is the result of a collaborative effort to bring the nation’s first registered apprenticeship in unmanned aerial systems to North Texas,” said Mark Hays, DCCCD’s vice chancellor for workforce and economic development. “We at DCCCD are thrilled to be part of this leading-edge technology and also to be helping North Texas residents obtain skills in UAS technologies. RMS Aerospace and the U.S. Department of Labor have been exemplary partners, and we couldn’t be more proud to serve as part of this team.”

Hays added, “DCCCD and RMS Aerospace are committed to making North Texas the ‘Silicon Valley’ of drone technologies. This partnership will benefit our residents by enabling them to obtain excellent jobs as well as providing the latest technologies that will benefit a multitude of companies throughout our region.”

A drone was displayed during the apprenticeship announcement event at the Frontiers of Flight Museum.

DCCCD and Addison-based RMS Aerospace will collaborate to implement and operate the nation’s first integrated drone education program; its mission is to produce standardized, safe and professional UAS operators for government and commercial industries.

“This apprenticeship is the first program operated outside the U.S. military that will provide a comprehensive training experience: airmanship, geographic information systems (GIS) mapping technology, payload, project management and information processing,” said Russell Julian, CEO of RMS Aerospace. “Apprentices who are enrolled in the UAS program will earn four marketable licenses granted by the Federal Aviation Administration and the Federal Communications Commission.”

RMS Aerospace also announced the implementation of the North Texas Unmanned Aerial Systems Center of Excellence, which will serve as an accelerator for drone technology by creating job growth and economic development in the North Texas region. DCCCD will assist with those efforts. “The center also will provide support efforts related to the region’s existing UAS firms by accelerating the movement of their technologies and services from concept to market,” according to RMS Aerospace.

The signing ceremony, held at the Dallas Frontiers of Flight Museum, involved John Kuznar, field representative for the U.S. Department of Labor; Julian Alvarez, commissioner representing labor for the Texas Workforce Commission; and Russell Julian, CEO of RMS Aerospace. Hays spoke on DCCCD’s behalf.

For more information, contact Russell Julian, CEO at RMS Aerospace, at or call him at 214-860-5923.

To contact DCCCD, send an email to Mark Hays at

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