Press Release

County of Orange Partners with Fullerton College to Launch Drone Piloting Program for Youth

drone pilotage at sunset

FULLERTON, Calif. (December 23, 2021) – The County of Orange, in partnership with the Orange County Workforce Development Board (OCWDB) and Fullerton College, is launching the Drone Piloting Program for Orange County youth.

The Drone Piloting Program will be offered to youth ages 16-24 in Orange County along with the County of Orange’s Ready S.E.T. OC Program and includes enrollment in the Fullerton College TECH 150 Basic Piloting Course.

“The Ready S.E.T. OC Program is designed to ensure self-sufficiency and a long-term positive employment outcome by assisting youth in making a successful transition to unsubsidized employment, post-secondary education, military, apprenticeship, or trade placement,” said Chairman Andrew Do, First District Supervisor.

“This is a unique opportunity for youth to learn important piloting skills, safety, flight management, proper care and use for drones, about the National Airspace System, and much more,” said Vice Chairman Doug Chaffee, Fourth District Supervisor. “We look forward to partnering with Fullerton College and launching this program.”

According to the Federal Aviation Administration, unmanned Aircraft Systems, or drones, are rapidly becoming a part of everyday lives, quickly increasing in numbers and complexity.

“Drone use is important in a variety of industries, including public safety, real estate, construction, and even patrolling our local natural landscape and beaches,” said Supervisor Katrina Foley, Second District. “I am excited that this new drone piloting program will teach a new generation the skills that help our communities and prepare them for the workforce.”

The Basic Piloting Drone Course is scheduled to begin on January 24, 2022, and will be held at Fullerton College. The course is open to Orange County youth for a fee, and enrollment will be on a first-come, first-serve basis. Participating Ready S.E.T. OC Youth will be provided with a scholarship to cover the cost of the program.

A virtual orientation will be held via Zoom on Thursday, January 6, 2022, at 4 p.m.

“Through this program, youth will be given a chance to discover if drone piloting is the right career path for them,” said Supervisor Don Wagner, Third District. “The job market in this field is expected to expand making the launch of this program come at an opportune time.”

“The Drone Piloting Program is a great example of the County’s efforts to stay apprised of relevant employment opportunities in emerging industries, and then developing programs for our community to meet those needs,” said Supervisor Lisa Bartlett, Fifth District.

“The Basic Drone piloting course allows participants an opportunity for deeper career exploration in a fast-growing and high demand field,” explained Jay Seidel, Instructor and Program Director of the Fullerton Drone Lab at Fullerton College.

For more information or to register, please contact the OC Business & Economic Recovery Call Center at (714) 480-6500.