About Us

Amara Rose

The Driftless Region Aerospace Innovation Center (DRAIC) will be an innovation and education hub for our community.

A completely remodeled 12,000 square foot aircraft hangar located in La Crosse, WI is the ideal environment for the collaboration of educators, students and aviation enthusiasts.

DRAIC will be a space for innovation workshops, aviation classes, seminars and meetings.

The DRAIC’s mission is to create a space for current and future members of the aviation community to practice innovation, share knowledge and build connections with the entire community.

The flagship program at DRAIC is Driftless Region Youth Flight (DRYF), a 501c3 non-profit aviation education program that will help all area youth explore the potential for careers in aviation with a hands-on learning experience.

High school age students will join us in the Driftless Region Aerospace Innovation Center where they will learn how to safely use tools, practice shop safety, learn manufacturing and maintenance vernacular, parts inventory systems, manufacturing traceability and work in progress systems all while building a kit aircraft, a Van’s RV-12iS ELSA two place aircraft.

These first year students will be encouraged to become second year students where they will learn leadership and management skills by becoming mentors to the following first year students who are building their own aircraft.

Second year students will also learn how to work with aerospace composite materials, 21st century manufacturing such as Fusion 360 CAD/CAM design software, CNC routers, lasers and water jets, as well as 3-D printers.

Also, utilizing our collaboration with the School District of La Crosse, and Fox Valley Technical College in Oshkosh Wisconsin, students will be exposed to FAA aviation maintenance technician classes at our facility.

We believe this measured approach to provide relevant, real world skills and up to date aerospace education will more effectively encourage the participants to enter a career as an aviation maintenance technician.

Beyond the two year cycle provided to high school age participants, DRAIC will offer age appropriate activities to younger potential students to garner interest in becoming a future participant in our program.

DRYF is free of charge to all participants made possible through grants, donations, corporate partnerships and fundraising.

We are seeking donations toward a $2M capital campaign fundraising goal.

Donate today and help Driftless Region Youth Flight and The Driftless Region Aerospace Innovation Center take flight!

Want to get involved?

Get in touch or make a donation.