ELEVATE, a cutting-edge drone pilot training program


Commercial Drone Market Trends 2022 and Beyond

Goodwill Industries of Upstate/Midlands South Carolina (GIUMSC) is excited to announce the launch of ELEVATE, a cutting-edge drone pilot training program now open for registration. Developed through a partnership between GIUMSC and AI Nautics, ELEVATE equips aspiring drone pilots with the skills, knowledge, and expertise necessary to navigate the skies with confidence and proficiency. The program focuses on drone operation and safety, preparing participants for the FAA 107 exam.

    GIUMSC President/CEO Pat Michaels – shown above testing out AI Nautics’ virtual reality training simulator – and AI Nautics co-founder Christopher Williams put pen to paper Tuesday, August 22nd, to formalize the partnership through a Memorandum of Understanding. 

    “As the drone industry continues to soar to new heights, the demand for skilled drone pilots is on the rise. ELEVATE provides a comprehensive solution to bridge the gap between advancements in drone technology and the need for well-trained pilots who can harness the potential of these devices effectively and safely,” said Michaels. “Our commitment at Goodwill is to provide education and training, helping individuals become self-sufficient and lead independent lives. This program offers an additional opportunity to help our community thrive through the power of work.”

    “Drone technology has been part of commerce for years and has slowly been embraced and adopted in our state. This partnership will help continue developing a pipeline of drone professionals with the skills to take on careers or entrepreneurial opportunities,” said AI Nautics Co-founder Christopher Williams. “We need programs and partnerships like Goodwill to continue exposing South Carolina to opportunities before they get here, not when they are here.”

    AI Nautics' virtual reality training simulator

    ELEVATE’s first class of aspiring drone pilots will meet for a two-day bootcamp Saturday, September 30, 2023, and Sunday, October 1, 2023, at GIUMSC’s Administrative Offices in Greenville (115 Haywood Road).