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Air industry apprenticeship

Elliott Aviation and the Davenport Central High School have teamed up to offer a first-of-its-kind apprenticeship that allows juniors in high school to enroll in an airplane mechanic apprenticeship.

The program is to give students a leg up on their education while molding the next generation of the airline industry workforce. It comes at a time when airlines are reporting pilot and mechanic shortages. The average pay for an aircraft mechanic in Iowa is nearly $27 per hour. The demand for mechanics is high, too. The industry is expected to see the need grow by 10-12% over the next decade. But, there's already a shortage of 12-15,000 mechanics. Thirty percent of all licensed mechanics are older than 65. While an immediate problem for the industry, the shortage means skilled mechanics are in the pipeline and likely to find employment. Hats off for a local company and a local school partnering to solve a problem.

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