AAR Corp. Announces 500 New Jobs for Chennault International Airport in Lake Charles

State will establish Aircraft MRO Center of Excellence for aviation training at SOWELA Technical Community College


The state provided a competitive incentive package to secure the company’s investment in Lake Charles, including the services of LED FastStart® – recently ranked the best workforce development program in the nation for the fourth year in a row by Business Facilities magazine – as well as a performance-based grant of $2.0 million to reimburse capital investments in tooling and other equipment at Chennault needed to support AAR Corp.’s expanded operation. Additionally, AAR is expected to utilize the state’s Quality Jobs and Industrial Tax Exemption programs.

The State of Louisiana also will partner with SOWELA to establish a national Aircraft MRO Center of Excellence there, which will support the training of employees and create a pipeline of talent for AAR and other aviation service providers in the region, such as Northrop Grumman. The State will provide $3.7 million in funding for enhancements to the curriculum in structures, systems and avionics; replacement and expansion of technical training equipment needed for these programs; accelerated hiring of national-caliber talent to provide leadership and training expertise for the program; and updated aerospace labs for students to practice and qualify for certification and jobs through hands-on lab work. Most of the funds will be utilized for basic instructional equipment (e.g., tools, tables, audio-visual technology, instructional materials) and advanced equipment (specialized training equipment for avionics, structures, and systems).

“Lake Charles is very proud to welcome AAR to Southwest Louisiana and to be a part of its global aerospace network,” said Lake Charles Mayor Randy Roach. “This announcement is also great news for the men and women who have worked so hard in recent years to prove to the aviation industry that we can compete in the business of maintaining and repairing airplanes. Our commitment as a city is to build on that track record and do whatever we can to continue to support Chennault as a regional center of aviation excellence.” 

“SWLA will see increased growth in aviation jobs with today’s announcement,” said President and CEO George Swift of the Southwest Louisiana Economic Development Alliance. “As we work to diversify our economic base, aviation is a key component and we welcome this potential growth. We welcome AAR Corp. to our region.”

About AAR Corp. AAR is a global aerospace and defense contractor that employs approximately 7,000 people in 17 countries. Based in Wood Dale, Ill., AAR supports commercial, government and defense customers through two operating segments: Aviation Services and Technology Products. AAR’s services include inventory management and parts distribution; aircraft maintenance, repair and overhaul; and expeditionary airlift. AAR’s products include cargo systems and containers; mobility systems and shelters; advanced aero-structures; and command and control systems. For more information, visit www.aarcorp.com

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