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GREELEY, Colo. — Todd Lawrence always had an eye in the sky since he was just a lad.

“I love the freedom. I love to go up in the air and break the bonds of the earth,” the 37-year-old said.

His business degree, however, did not lend itself to a career in the cockpit.

One day Lawrence decided to file a different flight plan. He was going to learn to fly.

“I am finishing my flight instructor certificate which is an advanced certificate beyond the professional pilot degree,” he said.

Eventually, Lawrence will become a commercial airline pilot. His timing could not be better.

Boeing says more than 600,000 pilot jobs will need to be filled worldwide in the next two decades. More than 100,000 of those jobs will be in North America.

Aims Community College in Greeley has a flight school that has been very popular.

It is capped with student enrollment on the flight side. Its state-of-the-art air traffic control classes will address the 5,600 anticipated openings in the next 20 years as well.

So now, for Lawrence, not only is he looking up, but so are the prospects of him flying the friendly skies.