A $500,000 federal grant will be used to renovate two buildings leased to Southern University Shreveport for its airframe and powerplant school to recruit and train more aircraft technicians.

The U.S. Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration awarded the grant to the Shreveport Airport Authority for the project, located at the Shreveport Downtown Airport.

According to estimates, the project is expected to create five jobs, retain 150 jobs and spur $1.76 million in private investment.

“This project will not only bring much-needed jobs to the community, it will help fill a void in aircraft maintenance that is impacting the aviation sector nationwide,” said Deputy Assistant Secretary for Regional Affairs Dennis Alvord.

The Southern University Shreveport program is one of few nationwide, whose students are in great demand for their aircraft maintenance skills.