Community College Provides Technician Training
As the pool of maintenance technicians recedes, Greensboro, N.C.-based Timco Aviation Services is meeting its hiring requirements through a program with Guilford Technical Community College (GTCC). According to Kip Blakely, Timco’s v-p of industry and government relations, local-area residents are attracted to the maintenance program because it offers graduates the potential for a well paying career in the local area.
“We believe that a local workforce is more stable and [locals] are likely to get other friends and family interested in a career in aviation,” Blakely told AIN. He said the MRO strives to be a good neighbor in the community, which in turn makes local-area residents aware of the company and what it offers.
“We participate with the Andrews High School aviation program in High Point, North Carolina, which feeds into GTTC. Every year we sponsor the Timco Invitational, a holiday high-school basketball tournament, with the hope of informing students, parents and teachers about the career opportunities in aviation. Additionally, we have an 11th-grade job shadowing program and a 12th-grade internship program that we hope opens the world of aviation to young students.”
Timco announced last week that it has hired 20 of the 70 recent graduates from GTCC’s aviation systems technology program. The new hires have already entered a company program that will give them five more weeks of training specific to Timco’s operation. Blakely explained that all the new-hires went through the company’s standard hiring process. “I believe most of the other students have also been hired into aviation locally,” he said. Dr. Richard Pagan, chairman of the transportation technologies division at GTCC, said his institution has a long history with Timco. Over the last couple of years, he said, the two have worked to build their relationship. GTCC invites members of Timco’s HR department to talk to the students about employment opportunities at the company. In addition, some of the college’s students were hired part-time while attending school this past year. “Seeing these 20 graduates move into full-time jobs with Timco is an exciting validation of our approach,” he said.
Pagan said GTCC does not recruit students for a particular aviation company. “What we do is provide the training and invite companies to talk with our students about employment opportunities. However, we do work with individual companies in developing customized training programs for their current employees and new hires.”