Avocet Aviation Services is helping to promote science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) among young people through an initiative that will see the creation of a new curriculum for mechanics; an apprenticeship program through the State of Florida; and a co-op/internship initiative with a university. Avocet also has plans to expand its facilities next year to include a dedicated, on-site STEM-focused school, workshop and training area.
This long-term commitment is underlined with the recent appointment of Yesenia Arroyo, who has joined Avocet Aviation in the new position of aviation curriculum and training specialist. Arroyo will lead the new education initiative on behalf of Avocet. Her immediate responsibilities will be to develop and launch the apprenticeship program for the autumn; and university co-op/internship program set to begin in Q1 2018. Other short-term plans include the development of similar programs and learning tracks to management; inspection authorization, and avionics; and reaching out to the younger set via hosted field trips and career days.
“The labor gap in the MRO industry is a reality that we all face, therefore, we all share in the responsibility to grow the number of qualified, highly-skilled workers in the field by elevating the role of mechanics and technicians within our industry, while promoting STEM careers and the opportunities that exist for growth and advancement,” said Patrick Arellano Sr., chief executive officer, Avocet Aviation. “Avocet has built its reputation on superior service, high standards and efficiency, which can only be achieved by having a highly-skilled team. We are proud of this new initiative and look forward to making a solid impact in the industry, while bringing greater career opportunities to the local community here in Sanford.”
According to the Oliver Wyman Fleet Forecast, global airlines will add some 10,133 planes to current fleets by 2027 – a growth of 40 percent to 35,501. Meanwhile, the report also cites a shortage of aviation mechanics within the next decade, with the labor gap reaching a peak of nine percent by 2027. An aging-out of the current workforce and a lack of new, qualified technicians entering and staying in the field are the root causes of the shortage.
Arroyo said of the new role: “There is a large demand for mechanics, and the industry needs qualified workers that have been educated in and look to pursue careers in these diverse fields. My passion is to get people excited about science, and I look forward to creating a curriculum and apprenticeship program that will inspire young people to enter this exciting and dynamic field.”
Arroyo’s background includes developing curriculum and teaching children and adults while at the Orlando Science Center and Orange County Library System. Prior to that, she spent three years at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center with Safety and Mission Assurance. She completed the General and Powerplant Program at George T. Baker Aviation before studying aerospace engineering at University of Central Florida.