Aircraft Maintenance Technology

JUN-JUL 2018

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22 JUNE/JULY 2018 AIRCRAFT MAINTENANCE TECHNOLOGY INDUSTRY OUTLOOK Says Sheryl Oxley, Tulsa Tech aviation program coordinator, “Tulsa Tech participates in many outreach and educational events such as Dream Out Loud, Summer Educator Academies, and elementary school career days. We also host events on our campus such as Junior High Engineering Challenges.” “Attracting new students is our biggest challenge,” Northland’s Krein says. “We send a representative to all of the career fairs in a 100-mile radius of our college, but a good portion of the students we have is from word-of-mouth advertising. Our program would benefit from more HOW TO GIVE BACK Avocet MRO Services is a central Florida-based aircraft maintenance services provider with facilities at Orlando-Sanford International Airport and Lakeland Linder Regional Airport, offering best-in-class services and capabilities. Hands-on training and education have helped the company to deliver service excellence without compromising asset value or turnaround time. As the company grew, Avocet recognized two opposing needs — a desire for greater education, economic and career opportunity among young people in the communities where they work and live, and a short-fall within the industry of qualified, trained professionals that could keep up with the changing needs and technology demands driving the industry forward. It is a long-held belief by Avocet’s founders Patrick (president and CEO) and Susan Arellano that with business success comes a responsibility to give back, along with a personal duty to positively affect the society in which we live. To honor their commitment to give back, Avocet launched STAND UP for STEM focusing on training, education, and employment initiatives to help build a sustainable future for the industry by ensuring the next generation of highly skilled engineers and specialists are in place; while also inspiring and encouraging young people to pursue careers in STEM that can provide well-paying opportunities in the aviation industry. Patrick Arellano: As it relates to training, one of the things that continues to set us apart is the integrated approach to training that we take, in that we train our technicians across multiple disciplines against a specific aircraft type. The knowledge and capability of our technicians is not limited or restricted to one repetitive maintenance task. This helps make them more well-rounded, and thereby significantly increasing their technical aptitude and versatility. In addition, we also provide our technicians with general familiarization training when beginning work on a specific aircraft type they will be assigned to work on so that they have a much broader understanding and knowledge-base starting out. AMT: How many maintenance technicians do you employ, and how many would you like to have? Arellano: Avocet currently has 75 maintenance technicians. As the company continues to grow, we would like to add an additional 200 technicians to the team over the next two years. AMT: What programs has the company implemented to alleviate the maintenance technician shortage? Arellano: In 2017, Avocet MRO Services launched its STAND UP for STEM program. The program is aimed at promoting careers in MRO and improving readiness for the aviation workforce with the goal to address and impact the growing need for qualified labor in the aviation maintenance sector. While still in the program’s first year, Avocet has helped raise awareness of the need and demand for a more qualified workforce, and the company has been applauded by its partners and customers for taking up the charge to help make a positive impact to benefit the industry overall. Avocet has also received overwhelming interest in its apprenticeship and internship programs by young people, whom the company hopes to be able to train and develop as the industry’s next generation of specialists and technicians. AMT: Has the company partnered with schools or other companies to offer additional training programs? Arellano: Avocet has implemented three programs working directly with schools and the education community. The development of a three-year apprenticeship program in partnership with the Florida Department of Labor An 18-week internship initiative with Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University Active membership on the Seminole County Public Schools Aviation Program Advisory Committee In addition, our long-term goals for the program include expanding our facilities at Orlando Sanford International Airport with an on-site STEM-focused school, workshop, and training area; direct outreach to young students through hosted field trips; and onsite and offsite career days. For more information visit www.avocet.aero. AVOCET MRO Services JOSH OWENS

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