A new Aviation Futures Training Center is set to open in Chicago in March 2019.
Initially, the center will train students in aviation sheet metalworking, but plans are in the works to add training in composite repair as well, according to officials.
“When you bring together the strengths of AAR and Olive-Harvey College, one plus one is much greater than two,” said Mayor Rahm Emanuel. “The Aviation Futures Training Center will prepare students with the high-quality education necessary to seize in-demand careers in aviation.”
The center will launch in March 2019 as an extension of Olive-Harvey College’s Transportation, Distribution and Logistics (TDL) Center.
The aviation sheet metalworking course prepares graduates for the CertTEC Certification with 300 hours of instruction and hands-on training with sheet metal from airplane fuselages, officials note.
The center also will expand its program to composite repair. Students will receive training on how to work with this lighter and stronger material, which is increasingly used in industries such as aerospace, transportation, construction and more.
“The shortage of middle skills workers in aviation and manufacturing is at acute levels in deindustrialized cities in the Midwest, like Chicago,” said John Holmes, AAR president and Chief Executive Officer. “AAR is actively working with colleges to recruit and upskill workers to get them in the pipeline faster to address the short supply.”
The program is part of AAR’s EAGLE Career Pathway program, which AAR is introducing at schools near its five U.S. aircraft repair stations. EAGLE demonstrates how students can earn skills leading them to careers where they can earn $80,000 or more annually within three to five years.
The skills will enable students who are interested to pursue the position of FAA-certified airframe and powerplant (A&P) mechanic. There is a shortage of 189,000 aircraft mechanics in North America, according to a study by Boeing.
According to the Great Cities Institute at the University of Illinois at Chicago, there were 58,000 unfilled manufacturing jobs in Cook County last year, and one in three manufacturing workers in the metro area is over the age of 55.
For more information and to enroll in the program at Olive-Harvey College, visit CCC.edu/AviationTech or call 773-COLLEGE.