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September 29, 2015

PenBay Media to double employees under FAA training contract

Photo / Lori Valigra Ann Yahner, president and general manager of Penobscot Bay Media LLC in Rockland

Penobscot Bay Media LLC of Rockland said it will double its number of employees to 46 as the result of a new Federal Aviation Administration contract for training air traffic controllers.

The multi-million dollar contract, which the FAA awarded to Science Applications International Corp., is for providing training and support services under the FAA Controller Training Contract in the United States. Penobscot Bay Media, also known PenBay Media, is a subcontractor on the SAIC team for the project.

The project will run for three years, with two one-year options for extension, Ann Yahner, president and general manager of PenBay, told Mainebiz. She said the current staff of 23 will double under the contract.

“These are retired air traffic controllers teaching the next generation of air traffic controllers,” she said, adding that the training is needed because of the number of air traffic controllers nearing or reaching retirement age, which in their profession is age 56.

She said during the contract the FAA expects to hire up to 6,000 new air traffic controllers to replace a retiring workforce. SAIC, PenBay and other partners will provide support services to the FAA Academy and Air Traffic Control Facilities to help with controller training requirements.

She and her husband, Frank Yahner, are both Navy veterans. Their largest contract, she said, is with the National Science Foundation, for which they develop software and work on that organization’s website.

PenBay, founded in 1999, also has worked on projects for the Environmental Protection Agency, Veterans Administration, Federal Emergency Management Agency and others.

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