Advanced Computing in the Age of AI | Saturday, August 13, 2022

Strong Push for Skilled Workers in Aviation Industry 

<img style="float: left;" src="http://media2.hpcwire.com/dmr/800px-Airplanes_at_sunrise.JPG" alt="" width="95" height="71" border="0" />Along with being first in flight, North Carolina is home to many aviation companies, with even some of the most well known enterprises like Boeing located there.

Along with being first in flight, North Carolina is home to many aviation companies, with even some of the most well known enterprises like Boeing located there.

But despite aviation companies in the state, finding workers to fill the types of jobs associated with those companies has proved to be a challenge. But now, officials in North Carolina have begun a recruiting effort in hopes that it will pique the interest of students and push them towards aerospace manufacturing jobs.

One company that is struggling to find qualified workers is TIMCO, an aircraft maintenance, repair, and overhaul company based out of Greensboro, N.C.

"It takes a lot of people, and that's something quite honestly we're struggling with," says Kip Blakely, a vice president with the company. "We're struggling with finding folks with the right skills, the right certification to come to work here at TIMCO."

In order to help fill these gaps, TIMCO has partnered with local chambers of commerce to promote the aviation industry. One way that they’ve decided to do this is through commercials that are directed at teens. These commercials air during football games and sitcoms to appeal to the youth.

Even parents are being targeted to help inform them on the changes that have occurred in the industry.

"One of the challenges we're working on right now is getting in front of parents and students to show them it's a totally different manufacturing environment, if you will, than the basic manufacturing that their fathers and grandfathers and grandmothers were involved in," says Pat Danahy, president of Greensboro’s economic partnership team. 

While many have taken it upon themselves to push these types of jobs, it appears as if their efforts have been successful. In High Point, N.C., there is now a specialized high school aviation academy. At the school, students get to use flight simulators, wind tunnels, and even 3D printers, firsthand.

The school offers associate’s degrees and aviation certifications to the high school students. Many of the students are interested in becoming mechanics, aviation engineers, and even pilots.

"It's become far more about, well, software engineers programming machine tools," says Richard Aboulafia of Teal Group, an aerospace consulting firm. "That has resulted in fewer jobs, but better jobs — and of course an industry that is far more dependent upon talented and experienced professionals."

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