Cirrus partners with college on workforce development program

DULUTH, Minn. — Cirrus Aircraft has partnered with Lake Superior College to develop an Aircraft Assembly Pre-employment Program. The program is part of a Minnesota Job Skills Program Grant for workforce development and is aimed at recruiting, training and preparing low-income individuals for assembly jobs at Cirrus.

The grant, awarded to Lake Superior College and Cirrus in June, will fund the program’s curriculum development and enrollment for up to 60 participants. The first group to begin instruction will start Oct. 14.

“This project highlights how higher education, government and industry can work together to develop a workforce for the region’s emerging aviation and manufacturing sector,” said Patrick Johns, president of Lake Superior College. “It’s great example of a local educational institution working to meet the needs of a regional employer by accessing a state-funded grant.”

“Through this partnership with Lake Superior College, candidates will receive the necessary training to prepare them for an assembly job at Cirrus,” said Pat Waddick, president and COO of Cirrus Aircraft. “To keep up with production demands, we are projecting the addition of 60-80 new assemblers by the end of the year. We are proud to support Lake Superior College’s mission to develop our local workforce.”

Eligible participants will be recruited and screened by SOAR Career Solutions and the Duluth Workforce Center.

Upon enrollment in the program, participants will take part in classroom training delivered primarily at Lake Superior College. Cirrus personnel will instruct at least 20% of the courses, as well as provide site visits and lab work, which will take place at the company’s Duluth facility.

The three-week curriculum comprises courses in Aircraft Structure and Terminology, Composite & Mechanical Assembly, Production Systems, Quality Systems and more.

Participants will receive the opportunity to interview with Cirrus upon successful completion of the classroom component. If hired, they will begin paid on-site training followed by a job position completed under a trainer who assesses workmanship, knowledge and abilities. Upon verified proficiency, participants will receive their manufacturing stamp that qualifies them to perform an assembly job with Cirrus. 

Lake Superior College is a member of the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities system. With approximately 4,500 students enrolled this fall semester, LSC is northeastern Minnesota’s largest two-year college. LSC provides a wide range of programs and services, including liberal arts and science courses for transfer, technical programs intended to provide occupational skills, continuing education, and customized training for business and industry.


  1. Beatrix says

    Minnesota is not “local” in China…. do you mean Xian University or Shanghai? Cirrus is a Chinese company building Chinese airplanes. Please do better research.

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