Duncan Aviation hosted a Registered Apprenticeship Ceremony to roll out its newly registered Duncan Aviation Airframe Technician Apprenticeship Program. The ceremony was a fitting mid-week celebration of National Apprenticeship Week.
“The aviation industry is currently seeing a workforce shortage for qualified aircraft technicians as the number of retiring certified Airframe Technicians is higher than the number of young adults expressing interest in the field of aircraft mechanics,” explains Todd Duncan, Chairman of Duncan Aviation. “In response, Duncan Aviation is educating young adults about the joys of choosing business aviation as a career and looking at new and different ways to introduce talented and motivated individuals to the company and the industry.”
Registered apprenticeships benefit communities and the workforce by providing on-the-job training that gives participants a clear career path and national credential from the U. S. Department of Labor through an earn-as-you-learn program. Jeremy Rangel, Duncan Aviation airframe manager, says, “The work-based learning strategy helps Duncan Aviation increase team member skills and engagement while developing the company’s future leaders.”
Duncan Aviation has offered apprenticeships, or full-time careers that include on-the-job training and instruction, to interested candidates for the last few years. By on-boarding new team members as Tech Helpers, experienced technicians would offer guidance and on-the-job training. No formal instruction program was in place, Rangel says. “Though it was successful, we identified areas of theoretical and practical training that would yield better results through standardization. That is exactly what we did, working with the US Department of Labor and the Nebraska Department of Labor. We now have a true pathway to help new team members become knowledgeable, well-rounded aircraft technicians.” This formalized apprenticeship program has now been nationally registered with the US Department of Labor and the Department of Education.
The classroom instruction and hands-on lab training developed for the program has heightened our training effectiveness to the next level, says Matt Stolz, airframe shift supervisor. “The Registered Apprenticeship Program at Duncan Aviation is designed to provide those who enroll in it a streamlined and focused approach to training for the FAA Airframe Technician certificate. The program carries with it Duncan Aviation’s reputation for quality, knowledge, and leadership in the business jet world.”
Currently, Duncan Aviation has 24 apprentices who are working full-time while learning and preparing for their Airframe Technician certification test. They have up to 24 months from joining the program to earn their certificate.