Positive Developments in Recruiting of Future Aviation Maintenance/Mechanical Technicians

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Articles: Boeing invests in SIIT training program;  Wanted: A New Generation Of High-Tech Aviation Workers

101113Aviation Maintenance Technicians, aka mechanics, are critical to aviation safety whether they are turning wrenches on airplanes in service or whether they are helping build an airframe or a powerplant. It is well known that there is a growing shortage of people trained to perform these critical jobs, like there is a projected deficit in the pilot community.

The above two stories are great examples of efforts to deal with this shortage. The Boeing Company has invested in the Saskatchewan Aviation Learning Center (SALC) in Saskatoon an organization which includes the Saskatchewan Indian Institute of Technologies (SIIT). The OEM’s capital will be used by SIIT to recruit additional students and to acquire additional equipment used to train the students. Those US dollars will help produce more competent technicians for aviation.

In the second initiative, the State of North Carolina, local Chambers of Commerce and TIMCO are jointly recruiting students to the aviation mechanical trades. One of their advertisements makes the pitch well:

“Are you looking for a rewarding career with room for advancement? How about aviation? One of the Triad’s fastest growing industries. Demand for skilled workers is increasing and local companies are hiring for all types of positions.”

One example of the results of this effort is a High Point, NC high school aviation academy where Aviation Fundamentals students are learning fundamentals, using popsicles to learn about the structure of a bridge. The curriculum takes then to more advanced training: working with flight simulators, wind tunnels and 3-D printers. The results are associate’s degrees and receive aviation certifications. Such positive, proactive efforts are much needed, should be replicated by other local government/business alliance and should find the FAA as a facilitator and supporter.

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