The aviation industry relies heavily on professional maintenance technicians to build aircraft with the highest standards in mind. Demand for qualified maintenance technicians, however, is said to outpace supply as early as 2022. Industry forecasts currently indicate that 739,000 technicians are needed globally, while 192,000 are needed in North America alone.
Piper Aircraft, like many manufacturing companies, is beginning to feel the maintenance technician shortage. This has led the company to partner with International AeroTech Academy on a joint program that will create a pipeline for qualified Airframe and Powerplant Mechanics at its Vero Beach manufacturing facility.
The program is a first-of-its-kind between a legacy manufacturer and an aircraft maintenance training provider. Before even beginning the Airframe and Powerplant Mechanics training, students will have the opportunity to interview with Piper. Students will then receive a conditional letter of employment contingent on their successful completion of the AeroTech training program.
"We are in a unique position to help strengthen the talent pipeline by providing job opportunities at the beginning of the student's education, which we believe will help attract additional candidates to the program and to Piper Aircraft," said Greg Wendel, Senior Director of Manufacturing.
After graduation, the selected candidates will begin employment at Piper's Vero Beach manufacturing facility. Graduates will also receive a $3,000 signing bonus and an annual tuition reimbursement of $2,400 per year for up to ten years.
"The aviation industry is now and will continue to experience a severe shortage of qualified maintenance professionals," said Steven Markhoff, President & CEO of International AeroTech Academy. "Our new partnership creates a defined career path at one of the most recognized names in aviation. The availability of tuition financing coupled with Piper's signing bonus and annual stipend creates a unique opportunity to attract, train and retain the next generation of aviation maintenance professionals."