October 15, 2013 – Global aviation and technology company AAR (NYSE: AIR) will give 45 high school juniors and seniors their first glimpse of aviation education and careers during “Taking Flight,” a daylong STEM excursion to AAR’s 1.6 million-square-foot aircraft maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) facility at the Indianapolis International Airport.
On Wednesday, October 16, students from Perspectives/IIT Math and Science Academy in Chicago will visit AAR Aircraft Services at the Indianapolis Maintenance Center, 2825 W. Perimeter Drive. But first they will tour the Aviation Technology Center at nearby Vincennes University, which offers an airframe and power plant, or A&P, program to obtain FAA certification to work on airplanes. Vincennes instructors will provide insights into the type of curricula students need to prepare themselves for careers such as avionics technicians, aerospace engineers, aircraft mechanics and air traffic controllers.
AAR has been recognized as the No. 1 Airframe MRO Provider in North America and No. 3 in the world. To help bridge the skills gap in aviation, AAR launched “Taking Flight” three years ago and conducts similar STEM-focused initiatives in Miami, Oklahoma City and Indianapolis. AAR opened its sixth aircraft repair station in North America in September in Lake Charles, La. The Company recently was recognized by the mayor’s office in Duluth, Minn., for opening a third line of maintenance. There are job openings at both facilities, including for maintenance inspectors.
“These students already are being prepped for careers in STEM fields. AAR is providing them memorable exposure to the real-world applications of their studies,” said AAR Director of Recruiting Greg Dellinger. “The students will learn what it takes to become a pilot, take part in simulated flying, and because Vincennes is a Part 147 A&P school, they will also learn the certification required to become an aircraft mechanic.”
After touring the Aviation Technology Center, which includes access to a wide range of fixed- and rotor-wing aircraft and engines, the students will taxi in style across the airfield in a Boeing 737 to AAR Aircraft Services. Equipped with safety glasses and insatiable curiosity, the students will tour the impressive facility and learn what aircraft MRO entails.
Perspectives Charter Schools is a network of five high-performing charter schools founded on a rigorous education model called "A Disciplined Life" that drives academic performance and builds character and responsibility. It also stresses the kind of soft skills necessary to succeed in the workplace, such as interpersonal communication, leadership and creativity.
"As a forward-looking company, AAR is very concerned about the next generation of highly-skilled aviation workers that will allow us to remain competitive in the global market," said Dellinger. "Perspectives/IIT Math and Science Academy is producing the kind of candidates AAR wants and needs for the future."
David Terry, communications manager at Perspectives, says the partnership with AAR is invaluable.
"This collaboration with AAR ties in classroom instruction and weaves it into something tangible for students. Having the opportunity to send 45 students to an airfield helps them think about where they'd like to go, what future they would like and what career opportunities are out there," said Terry. "And when they actually venture out and spread their wings, they will know that AAR will be looking for highly qualified students prepared with science, technology and math. But beyond that, AAR will be looking for people who are good natured and have abundant enthusiasm and spirit."
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