The aviation industry faces dire challenges as it strives to recruit enough technicians to keep aircraft flying and airlines operating. Boeing recently reported that the shortage of FAA-certified aircraft technicians has caused a vacuum within the airlines, and 189,000 trained technicians will be needed within the next 20 years. But fewer than 20,000 students across the country are currently enrolled in Aviation Maintenance Technology (AMT) programs. In order to promote aviation maintenance technology for new college students considering a career path, a new coalition of industry leaders called Choose Aerospace is coming together.
Choose Aerospace, an awareness campaign spearheaded by the Aviation Technician Education Council (ATEC), will bring together a coalition of industry stakeholders and educational leaders to quantify staffing needs and promote aerospace technical careers. Hampton Roads-based Aviation Institute of Maintenance (AIM) has signed on as Choose Aerospace’s primary educational sponsor for this venture.
“Aviation Institute of Maintenance is proud to announce its partnership with Choose Aerospace,” said AIM’s Director of Education Mark Holloway. “The coalition is a great opportunity for industry leaders to come together on an issue that will detrimentally impact us all if not addressed. The community must find a way to attract a diverse, qualified technical workforce, if we are going to attain the anticipated industry growth projections.” AIM has 12 FAA-Certificated schools teaching aircraft maintenance across the country and is the largest family of aviation maintenance schools in the United States. “Partnering with Choose Aerospace just makes sense as we strive to make a positive impact on the lives of our students and the aviation industry,” Holloway said.
The campaign is a solutions-oriented effort to identify and implement strategies to address the aerospace workforce shortage. Kick-off activities will include market research to pinpoint the target audience and determine what marketing initiatives will have the most impact. Once the initial research is complete, the campaign will focus on brand development and content marketing, and other efforts intended to raise the public’s awareness of career opportunities in aviation maintenance.
AIM joins a growing list of companies, associations, and labor unions joining together to address the aviation workforce challenge. AIM’s Vice President of Operations, Dr. Joel English, explains, “It is clear that United Airlines, Envoy Airlines, PSA Airlines, Piedmont, and the other industry partners who are supporting Choose Aerospace hope to increase the flow of certified professionals to service their aircraft. But this effort addresses not just the problem of a technician shortage; it addresses the problem of the average family not thinking about aerospace as an accessible and lucrative career path. Young people and their families need to understand that programs like ours are efficient educational pathways to lifelong employment. I feel that it was AIM’s duty to get involved with Choose Aerospace in order to increase the population of certified aviation professionals.”
As a Launch Sponsor of Choose Aerospace, AIM has committed to the highest level of support over the next three years in support of Choose Aerospace. AIM is also doubling the capacity to train students at its Hampton Roads campus by moving to a 109,000 square foot campus in Norfolk, Va. The institution is also expanding its campuses in Charlotte, NC, Fremont, Calif., Las Vegas, Nev., and several other campuses around the country. “We look forward to working with ATEC on this venture,” concluded Holloway, “and we can’t wait to see the positive impact it will have for future aviators.”
For more information about the campaign, visit www.chooseaerospace.org.
About Aviation Institute of Maintenance:
Aviation Institute of Maintenance (AIM) is a network of aviation maintenance schools with campuses coast-to-coast across the United States and headquarters located in Virginia Beach, Va. AIM students are trained to meet the increasing global demands of commercial, cargo, corporate and private aviation employers. AIM graduates are eligible to take the FAA exams necessary to obtain their mechanic’s certificate with ratings in both Airframe and Powerplant. AIM’s campuses are located in the following major metro areas: Atlanta, Charlotte, Philadelphia, Dallas, Houston, Indianapolis, Las Vegas, Washington, D.C., Kansas City, Mo., Fremont, Calif., Orlando, Fla., and Norfolk, Va.