AAR Corp.

Lake Superior College Partners with AAR, and Minnesota Job Skills Partnership to Train Low-Income Residents for Aviation Maintenance Jobs

(Duluth, Minn.) – A grant signing ceremony will be held on Thursday, July 17 from 1-2 p.m. at AAR, 4600 Stebner Road, Duluth, to formalize a training partnership between Lake Superior College, AAR, and the Minnesota Job Skills Partnership (MJSP).

A MJSP Pathways grant of $89,265 will help meet AAR’s workforce needs through a Pathways project with Lake Superior College by providing eligible applicants with training for jobs as support technicians for aircraft maintenance.

About a year ago, AAR leased a Duluth hangar and began aircraft maintenance operations with 25 employees and local contractors. Today, there are 296 employees on site, including 115 contract personnel, providing aircraft overhaul and repair services for Air Canada planes.  With increased demand for service, AAR is expanding from three to four maintenance lines beginning in September 2014 and will require additional Support Technicians. 

“We appreciate the ongoing willingness of Lake Superior College and the state of Minnesota to work with us to build a skilled workforce,” said Mark Ketterer, AAR vice president of operations.  “We will guarantee an interview for all graduates of the Pathways training program.”

Lake Superior College, in tandem with AAR, will develop and implement a 60-hour Aircraft Maintenance Support Training Program which includes:  Introduction to AAR, General Safety Knowledge, General Aircraft Knowledge, Use of General Aircraft Tools, General Aircraft Cleaning, and Working with Aircraft. 

“We are working with AAR to meet current and future workforce needs,” said Steve Wagner, executive director, LSC Workforce Training and Community Development. “This grant recognizes the need to train and provide a skilled workforce in Duluth’s growing aviation industry.” 

SOAR Career Solutions will assist with recruitment and screening and provide an occupational overview to potential trainees. The target population will be 50 Pathways eligible individuals with an emphasis on minorities and women.

Based in Duluth, SOAR Career Solutions is a nonprofit employment services organization whose innovative programs use a personalized team approach to serve people at all levels of career and personal development. 

The Minnesota Jobs Skills Partnership (MJSP) Board evaluates grant applications for all MJSP training programs and makes grant awards to partnering businesses and educational institutions. The MJSP Board also has statutory authority over the state and federal Dislocated Worker Program, which provides training and services to laid-off Minnesota workers who meet specific eligibility requirements.

Incorporated in 1955, AAR is a leading provider of products and services to the aerospace, government and defense industries.  Headquartered in Wood Dale, IL, AAR employs over 6,000 people at over 60 locations in 17 countries. 

LSC is northeastern Minnesota's largest two-year college with a spring semester enrollment of approximately 4,600 students. LSC provides a wide range of programs and services, including liberal arts and science courses for transfer, technical programs intended to provide occupational skills, continuing education, and customized training for business and industry. LSC is also a leader in online-delivered courses and programs in Minnesota.