Redstone College, Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Partner to Meet Growing Demand for Skilled Aviation Maintenance Technicians

Programs train workers to fill skills gap in American manufacturing workforce


Broomfield, Colo. (Feb. 19, 2014) – For those interested in a career in aviation, reports from The Boeing Company and the International Civil Aviation Organization that point to an anticipated shortage in skilled aviation maintenance professionals are good news. Both reports predict that as global economies grow, tens of thousands of new commercial jetliners are produced and skilled workers retire, the demand for trained aviation maintenance technicians will also grow exponentially. In fact, Boeing anticipates more than 600,000 airline maintenance technicians will be needed worldwide by 2031. Redstone College, one of the nation’s premier technical and aviation schools, works directly with organizations like the FAA and Lockheed Martin to help fill this need.

In addition to industry predictions, Pres. Obama announced in his recent State of the Union address that our country is suffering from a skills gap in the workforce and encouraged companies and colleges to work together to help design training programs that fill specific needs for companies.  

Redstone College works in partnership with the FAA, as well as companies like Lockheed Martin, to build its curriculum to meet the demands of highly technical and demanding careers in airframe & power plant (A&P) and advanced electronics/avionics (aviation electronics). More than 50 percent of the time students spend takes place in a sophisticated lab environment where students receive hands-on training that prepares them to hit the ground running once they are hired.

More than 80 percent of the students who graduate from Redstone College with associate degrees in A&P and advanced electronics are hired in their field. Over the past five years, Lockheed Martin has hired approximately 150 Redstone College graduates for different plant locations around the country, mostly in Colorado, Maryland, Georgia and Texas. Staffing executives there anticipate the need for even more skilled aviation technicians due to predicted workforce retirement over the next decade. 

“As our industry continues to grow, we need to look far down the pipeline to fulfill the need of keeping our airplanes flying safely,” said Brian Richardson, FAA safety team program manager at the Denver Flight Standards District Office. “We are working with colleges like Redstone to start talking to students in middle and high school with mechanical aptitude who love to work with their hands, to get them excited about aviation maintenance technician careers with great potential.”

Just last week, Redstone College hosted a group of 40 students from the Career Education Center (CEC) Middle College of Denver, a magnet high school of the Denver Public School system focused on providing career-related educational opportunities that give students practical, hands-on experience. During their tour of Redstone College, students learned how the hands-on training at prepares graduates to be hired by some of the country’s leading aerospace and airline companies. Students also had the chance to hear from Richardson, as well as a representative from Lockheed Martin, about the future of the field.

According to Glenn Wilson, campus president, “Redstone College has been working with aviation manufacturers for years to provide the most advanced and premier training program in aviation maintenance. The demand exists and we hope Pres. Obama’s push to build a larger, more skilled workforce will further help the aviation industry fill its growing needs.”

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