AAR's New Partnership with Rock Valley College to Enhance Aviation Maintenance Instruction and Students' Career Prospects
AAR (NYSE: AIR), a global provider of aviation services, and Rock Valley College announce expansion of their unique aviation maintenance education and training partnership to further enhance instruction, students' job experiences and their career prospects at AAR upon graduation.
The new AAR EAGLE Career Pathway Program at Rock Valley will expand the college's aviation maintenance technology curriculum to include job shadowing and mentoring opportunities, as well as academic support and monitoring. Students who pursue the FAA-certified aircraft mechanic license are eligible for up to $15,000 in tuition reimbursements.
Rock Valley College leaders joined AAR's Ryan Goertzen, vice president of Aviation Workforce Development, for the official announcement at the college's Aviation Career Education Center, located at Chicago-Rockford International Airport. AAR and Rock Valley collaborated in 2016 to stand up a 40,000-square-foot wide-body MRO facility at the airport. Afterward, enrollment in the A&P program rose from about 40 to its full capacity at 170 students.
"The college has had a great partnership with AAR, and the EAGLE Career Pathway program will make that connection even stronger," says Dr. Doug Jensen, president of Rock Valley College. "EAGLE will open up even more opportunities for our students, providing stackable skills and certifications that lead directly to jobs at AAR and financial assistance to continue their education and advance their careers at AAR."
AAR is introducing EAGLE Career Pathway at schools near its five U.S. aircraft repair stations. EAGLE demonstrates how students can earn portable, stackable skills and earn $80,000 or more annually within three to five years. The stackable skills will enable students who are interested to pursue the coveted 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.
"The EAGLE Career Pathway Program is a great marketing and admissions tool to help community colleges like Rock Valley bolster student enrollments to reverse the trend of a dwindling aviation maintenance workforce," says Goertzen. "As part of the EAGLE program, Rock Valley College graduates will be guided into a five-year career path showcasing the different career opportunities beyond a technician, including roles in management and quality control."