Florida Aerospace Training Center of Hillsborough County
Inspired by her brother, Ivelisse Rivera, launched Florida Aerospace Training Center, to help the industry grow. “He has three schools in Puerto Rico for electronics and avionic technicians,” she said. “We see the necessity right now in this industry for different areas of aerospace, like mechanics and electronics. We see the opportunity to open something here in Florida, in the Tampa area, to help other people to grow and help the industry.”
Florida Aerospace Training Center, located at Tampa Executive Airport, is certified in avionics technician training for the Federal Communication Commission exam. The program preps students to take the exam and become certified.
While Rivera knew what kind of business she wanted to go into, she needed more information to find out if it was a viable idea, so she reached out to the Florida SBDC at University of South Florida in October 2019, and was paired with business consultant, Pablo Arroyo.
“The service that I received from Pablo Arroyo, he provided me with a list of locations,” she said. “He helped me with the business plan and also he contacted me with specific people from the aerospace industry.” The market research and industry connections provided by Arroyo have proven invaluable.
“After that, everything started growing,” Rivera said. “We have a partnership right now. We also had the opportunity to have a summer camp here this summer.”
And while the COVID-19 pandemic delayed her official business launch from the beginning of 2020 to September 2020, Rivera used that time to work on promotional materials, overall strategy and gather more information from Arroyo.
Moving forward, Rivera hopes to expand the company training programs, garner more partnerships and connect with the education system to teach students about the industry and how they can be a part of it. Along the way, she says she’ll continue to utilize the Florida SBDC at USF and Arroyo.
“SBDC at USF helped me a lot,” she said. “Even with COVID, we had a lot of meetings by [Microsoft Teams] and we received emails getting information about what kind of new programs they have available for business.”