Job training program takes flight in Duluth

In May, we told you the good news about AAR Aircraft Services adding jobs in Duluth. And today there’s even more good news, as the aircraft maintenance company is partnering with Lake Superior College and the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) to train 50 low income workers to become aircraft support technicians. The partnership is being made possible by a $89,265 DEED grant to Lake Superior College to develop the training program.

The grant was awarded under the agency’s Minnesota Job Skills Partnership Program (MJSP). The program works strategically with both businesses and educational institutions to train or retrain workers, expand work opportunities and keep high-quality jobs in the state. In this grant, AAR Corporation, a provider of products and services to the aerospace, government and defense industries, provided matching funds of more than $51,000.

“We are striving to better align our current workforce with the demands of our businesses,” said DEED Commissioner Katie Clark Sieben. “To date, the Minnesota Job Skills Partnership Program has trained more than 260,000 Minnesotans. In this project, eligible individuals, particularly women and members of minority populations, will gain the skills necessary to build their educational and career paths and AAR Corporation gains workers trained specifically for their business needs.”

AAR Corporation employs nearly 300 employees, including 115 contract personnel, in Duluth providing aircraft overhaul and repair services for Air Canada. AAR is expanding from three to four maintenance lines and will require additional support technicians.

MJSP funding will partner with Lake Superior College to provide eligible trainees with pre-employment and skills training.

The college will develop a 60-hour Aircraft Maintenance Support Training Program for AAR which includes: Introduction to AAR, General Safety Knowledge, General Aircraft Knowledge, Use of General Aircraft Tools, General Aircraft Cleaning, and Working with Aircraft. The Duluth WorkForce Center and SOAR Career Solutions will assist with recruiting and screening eligible individuals and provide trainees with an overview of the occupation. Those who successfully complete the training will have a direct pipeline to support technician jobs at the Duluth AAR facility that pay an entry-level wage of $13 an hour.

Minnesota DEED Press Release


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