- Associated Press - Friday, January 8, 2016

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) - A Springfield technology firm has donated $850,000 to a local aviation mechanic training program.

The gift from Levi, Ray and Shoup (LEE’-vye, RAE’ and SHOWP’) will add classroom space and allow for more students in the program based at the city’s Abraham Lincoln Capital Airport. Lincoln Land Community College provides the training.

Richard Levi is CEO of the private firm, which has a corporate aircraft hangar at the field. Levi told the (Springfield) State Journal-Register (https://bit.ly/1S660nv ) that the financial assistance for the program “helps with education, jobs, and the economy.”

Airport executive director Mark Hanna said adding a 5,200-square-foot classroom and training facility will help meet demand for workers at StandardAero, a repair and maintenance company based at the airport.

Hanna said aviation mechanics earn $59,000 to $90,000 a year.

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