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AIM Joins Industry Leaders to Raise Awareness for Careers in Aviation Maintenance, Commits to Support Choose Aerospace Campaign

Posted by on Mar 12, 2019

The aviation industry faces dire challenges as it strives to recruit enough technicians to keep aircraft flying and airlines operating.  Boeing recently reported that the shortage of FAA-certified aircraft technicians has caused a vacuum within the airlines, and 189,000 trained technicians will be needed within the next 20 years.  But fewer than 20,000 students across the country are currently enrolled in Aviation Maintenance Technology (AMT) programs.  In order to promote aviation maintenance technology for new college students considering a career path, a new coalition of industry leaders called Choose Aerospace is coming together.

AIM_Choose Aerospace PR_Engine

AIM students receive hands-on training from one of their instructors.

Choose Aerospace, an awareness campaign spearheaded by the Aviation Technician Education Council (ATEC), will bring together a coalition of industry stakeholders and educational leaders to quantify staffing needs and promote aerospace technical careers.  Hampton Roads-based Aviation Institute of Maintenance (AIM) has signed on as Choose Aerospace’s primary educational sponsor for this venture.

“Aviation Institute of Maintenance is proud to announce its partnership with Choose Aerospace,” said AIM’s Director of Education Mark Holloway. “The coalition is a great opportunity for industry leaders to come together on an issue that will detrimentally impact us all if not addressed. The community must find a way to attract a diverse, qualified technical workforce, if we are going to attain the anticipated industry growth projections.”  AIM has 12 FAA-Certificated schools teaching aircraft maintenance across the country and is the largest family of aviation maintenance schools in the United States. “Partnering with Choose Aerospace just makes sense as we strive to make a positive impact on the lives of our students and the aviation industry,” Holloway said.

The campaign is a solutions-oriented effort to identify and implement strategies to address the aerospace workforce shortage. Kick-off activities will include market research to pinpoint the target audience and determine what marketing initiatives will have the most impact. Once the initial research is complete, the campaign will focus on brand development and content marketing, and other efforts intended to raise the public’s awareness of career opportunities in aviation maintenance.

AIM joins a growing list of companies, associations, and labor unions joining together to address the aviation workforce challenge. AIM’s Vice President of Operations, Dr. Joel English, explains, “It is clear that United Airlines, Envoy Airlines, PSA Airlines, Piedmont, and the other industry partners who are supporting Choose Aerospace hope to increase the flow of certified professionals to service their aircraft.  But this effort addresses not just the problem of a technician shortage; it addresses the problem of the average family not thinking about aerospace as an accessible and lucrative career path.  Young people and their families need to understand that programs like ours are efficient educational pathways to lifelong employment.  I feel that it was AIM’s duty to get involved with Choose Aerospace in order to increase the population of certified aviation professionals.”

As a Launch Sponsor of Choose Aerospace, AIM has committed to the highest level of support over the next three years in support of Choose Aerospace.  AIM is also doubling the capacity to train students at its Hampton Roads campus by moving to a 109,000 square foot campus in Norfolk, Va. The institution is also expanding its campuses in Charlotte, NC, Fremont, Calif., Las Vegas, Nev., and several other campuses around the country.  “We look forward to working with ATEC on this venture,” concluded Holloway, “and we can’t wait to see the positive impact it will have for future aviators.”

For more information about the campaign, visit

About Aviation Institute of Maintenance:

Aviation Institute of Maintenance (AIM) is a network of aviation maintenance schools with campuses coast-to-coast across the United States and headquarters located in Virginia Beach, Va. AIM students are trained to meet the increasing global demands of commercial, cargo, corporate and private aviation employers. AIM graduates are eligible to take the FAA exams necessary to obtain their mechanic’s certificate with ratings in both Airframe and Powerplant. AIM’s campuses are located in the following major metro areas: Atlanta, Charlotte, Philadelphia, Dallas, Houston, Indianapolis, Las Vegas, Washington, D.C., Kansas City, Mo., Fremont, Calif., Orlando, Fla., and Norfolk, Va.

AIM Graduate Spotlight – Daniel Mendiola

Posted by on Jan 29, 2019

Daniel Mendiola graduation

Daniel Mendiola celebrates his graduation from the AMT program

Daniel Mendiola first came to Aviation Institute of Maintenance (AIM) Oakland back in 2014. While in the Aviation Maintenance Technician (AMT) program, he worked as an electrician for his family’s company, Mendiola Home Repair, as well as a pest controller to help make ends meet financially. During his training program at AIM, Daniel maintained a stellar 3.78 GPA. He graduated from the AMT program in 2015 and continued to work towards gaining his A&P license.

Daniel Mendiola conference table

Conference table built by Daniel Mendiola, constructed from wing of an aircraft.

In August 2017, he got a job opportunity to return to AIM as an Aircraft Assembly Technician. In this position, he was able to gain real hands-on experience to further prepare him for the aviation industry. He was the lead tech in charge of disassembling and reassembling aircraft. He also fabricated aircraft cradles and parts to move the aircraft. Other responsibilities included creating a custom welding hood and installing new compressor airlines for the facility. Additional custom-built projects included sound walls for running the aircraft in AIM Oakland’s new facility in Fremont, CA, as well as a conference table built from scratch, using a wooden airplane wing.

Daniel obtained his Powerplant rating in June 2018, and is continuing to study for his Airframe rating. In November of 2018, Boeing came to AIM Fremont and held a presentation, as well as on-site interviews. Daniel interviewed and was offered a position right away. He has since relocated to Renton, Washington, where he now works as an Aircraft Test Technician for Boeing. All of his hard work and determination has paid off and we wish him the best of luck in all of his future endeavors!

AIM Orlando Grad Follows in Fathers Footsteps

Posted by on Jan 24, 2019

By Gail Strickland, AIM Orlando Student Services Coordinator

On Friday, June 15, 2018, Luis Navas attended his exit ceremony at Aviation Institute of Maintenance (AIM) Orlando. However, this was no ordinary event for him.  Also, in attendance was his father, Gustavo Navas, who had graduated from AIM Orlando himself, almost exactly one year earlier, on June 11, 2017.

Utter pride showed on Gustavo’s face as he discussed what it meant for not only himself to have graduated, but his son, as well.

AIM Orlando Navas graduation

Luis Navas (left) and his father Gustavo (right) pose for a photo at Luis’s exit ceremony.

A Father’s Story

Prior to his time at AIM, Gustavo was working as an industrial mechanic in a Staples Warehouse.  He wanted something different and better though.  Gustavo has a cousin who works for Cessna and says that becoming an Aviation Maintenance Technician wasn’t on his mind until he received a tour of the Cessna hangar.  It was then that he fell in love with aviation. He says that since he graduated, he has reached his goal of working for Cessna and that people now look at him with respect.

Gustavo encouraged his son to go into the aviation field because he wanted him to have a bright future and be successful. However, Luis had different goals for himself.

Like Father, Like Son…Eventually

Luis began attending Lake Sumter State College.  After attending college for a time he felt like he was at a dead end and eventually dropped out.  Upon leaving Lake Sumter, Luis worked at U-Haul as a hitch pro but quickly grew frustrated. It was performing an oil change that changed his mind about becoming a mechanic.  He realized that he enjoyed working with mechanical things, then he took a tour of the same Cessna hangar his father had previously visited and recognized that it was a totally different world.

After the Cessna tour, he decided that this was what he wanted to do with his life – become an Aviation Maintenance Technician.

Almost exactly one year after his father began the program at AIM, Luis followed in his father’s footsteps and started school.  The father and son duo didn’t have any classes together, until Gustavo’s last block, Reciprocating Engines, taught by AIM Orlando Instructor James Allman.  Gustavo states that it took a push to get his Airframe and Powerplant (A&P) Certification but, with support from Mr. Allman, he did it.

“The process is not hard, but you need passion,” says Luis. “That way, when challenges do come, you don’t feel intimidated, but can enjoy it.”

Gustavo wants to encourage future students to consider AIM and says, “In my opinion, this (AIM) is one of the highest quality schools in the industry.”  Gustavo and Luis are both looking forward to working together in the aviation field.