When AAR Aircraft Services participated in a job fair in Duluth last year, they were on a fishing expedition, says Don Hoag, manager of Duluth Workforce Development.
It was all about proving to AAR that Duluth had the skilled work force it needed to establish an aircraft maintenance base in Duluth, he said.
The job fair at the Duluth Entertainment Convention Center had been organized by the city of Duluth and its local economic development and jobs services partners to persuade the jet aircraft maintenance provider to move into the former Northwest Airlines maintenance base in Duluth.
The result — 670 applicants attended the two-day fair or applied online — included more than 100 qualified mechanics, a level key for an AAR maintenance base. Many applicants had been employed at the Northwest Airlines maintenance base.
It must have worked.
AAR announced in April that it had chosen Duluth for its next base. AAR has bases in Indianapolis, Miami, Oklahoma City and Hot Springs, Ark.
This week, AAR will be back in Duluth for another job fair at the DECC. This time they’re ready to hire.
“This is no fishing expedition,” Hoag said. “This is the real deal.”
AAR representatives will be at the DECC’s city side section from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Wednesday to talk to applicants and accept resumes for managerial and leadership positions. Participants should use Entrance B. Parking will be free for applicants, courtesy of the DECC.
The following positions are to be filled this month:
Director of maintenance, director of quality/chief inspector, senior human resources specialist, facilities supervisor, training specialist, network administrator, project managers, maintenance supervisors and leads in A&P, R&E, sheet metal and inspection.
Those hired are expected to help with the hiring of nonmanagerial positions to follow.
So those skilled in sheet metal, composites, A&P and avionics in heavy jet maintenance also are encouraged to attend Wednesday’s job fair to explore work possibilities.
The company could employ 225 to 250 people in Duluth if it gets to full capacity. The jobs will pay between $30,000 and $80,000 per year, depending on the skills required, Danny Martinez, an AAR executive has said.
Applicants can submit a resume online at aarcorp.com. Click on the careers link and then select “Duluth.”