Oscar and his boys strike a pose for their family photo.
By Jessica Weney & Jul DeGeus
Thanksgiving is a time of reflection; what we have, what we want and even what we’ve lost. Here at the Aviation Institute of Maintenance (AIM), we witness gratefulness daily through the hard work and effort our students and staff exhibit. Gestures of gratitude can so easily go unrecognized when you’ve got your eye on the prize, as so many of our scholars do.
But what is behind this drive? What makes ‘the daily grind’ worth all the effort to our students? Jessica Weney, Student Services Coordinator of AIM Philadelphia, was curious to find out. So, like any inquisitive mind, Jessica sought out for answers by interviewing Oscar Polanco, Diane Pettiford, Luis Zayas, and Teresa Williamson, students at AIM.
Teresa and siblings gather to support one another.
Who/What are you most thankful for?
Oscar: My kids are my daily motivation. I want to give them the best life I can give to them, so they do not have to live with struggles I did. I am thankful every day for the health and happiness that both my family and I have.
Diane: I am thankful every day for my family. I would not be able to achieve what I am right now without their motivation and support.
Luis: I am thankful for God and the path he put me on to get me here. I am so, so thankful for my family for supporting me with my decisions and motivating me to do the best I can.
Teresa: I am thankful every day for life as a whole. I’m thankful for my parents for making me the best person I can be, teaching me that sky’s the limit, and to reach for my goals.
Diane’s children snuggled up together.
What is your favorite holiday tradition?
Oscar: My favorite traditions is getting together with my family from all over the country. Catching up over dinner and cocktails, reminiscing, and learning what new exciting things are to come for my family.
Diane: Last minute shopping trips with my sister and knowing what the looks will be on my kids’ faces when they get their gifts is priceless.
Luis: I love getting together with family, reminiscing, and showing love and support for one another.
Teresa: Being that my parents are deceased, the holidays are rough for me and my siblings. My brothers and sisters and I all go to mass together because it was something we used to do with our parents on the eve of the holidays. We also have a small dinner just the 4 of us.
Luis and his family geared up for game day.
And there you have it. Jessica found out that you can find the reason behind anyone’s drive, if you just take the time. Like Luis’s lifelong dream of becoming an Aviation Maintenance Technician or Diane’s daily performance, showing her children she is a strong, positive and encouraging role model. You’ll see Teresa living each day out emulating her parents and honoring their memory or Oscar showing his children the rewards of hard work and the bond of family. And finally, Jessica, whose determination and curiosity actually reflects her affection and devotion towards every student who walks into her office.
Happy Thanksgiving from all of us at AIM.
Training Tomorrow’s Aircraft Mechanics
A Growing Need for Aircraft Maintenance Training
According to the 2016 Boeing Current Market Outlook, the aviation industry will need 679,000 new aviation maintenance technicians as it continues toward the year 2035. There are currently not enough technicians to meet this need, creating a skills gap for the industry. So let’s stop for a moment and ask ourselves “What are we doing about this?”
Training Aircraft Mechanics with Apprentice Programs
What if a proactive approach, such as an apprenticeship program, was taken to allow students a first-hand opportunity to learn a new aspect of the field in which they work? This would provide vital experience for future aviation mechanics, while helping the facilities keep up with their work loads. The Aviation Institute of Maintenance believes in this approach and is prepared to give its students the tools and opportunities they need to succeed.
An example of such an opportunity is the apprenticeship program between Aviation Institute of Maintenance and a fully-operational WWI and WWII aircraft restoration facility called The Fighter Factory, located at the Military Aviation Museum in Pungo, VA. This program was recently featured in Aviation Maintenance Technology’s monthly magazine. The Fighter Factory’s apprenticeship program gives select students a real hands-on understanding of building, restoring and maintaining these historic and iconic aircraft. The Fighter Factory has realized that to keep these warbirds in flying condition it needs skilled aircraft mechanics to service and maintain them to meet FAA standards. This apprenticeship program gives students a forum to put their knowledge to the ultimate test.
This is what the aviation maintenance industry needs; more hands-on training which would lead to more qualified aircraft technicians to meet a growing industry’s demand.
We as the Aviation Institute of Maintenance train avionic technicians, but what kind of outlook do our graduates receive when they enter the workforce?
We open the door to a whole new vastly growing field. If you ever looked up into the sky as a child, and thought how those big jets stay in flight, we’re the ones keeping them going. Jets not only commute business class passengers or families for holidays, but they also are the lifeline for commercial transportation. How do you expect to get your wireless speakers off Amazon Prime in 2 days or less?
Starting a new career is a big decision, but we can show you the real numbers behind how much this field is growing, and how you can be a part of it.
According to the 2016 Boeing Current Market Outlook , the amount of passenger traffic was up approximately 7.4% and capacity was up 6.7% in 2015 alone. In the end, that’s a record breaking 80% word wide. Because of lower gas prices, and varied aircraft efficiencies, airlines expected net profits of $35 billion dollars in 2015. Since then, key trends in aviation have skyrocketed and analysts expect to see this progression increase in the coming years.
Over the next 20 years in the field of aviation, Boeing has forecasted the industry will need approximately 39,620 new airplanes, valued at more than $5.9 trillion. With the diversity of the aviation field growing, new planes are needed to make up for the products and people being transported to more remote places. Most of the new traffic will be coming from Asia, The United States, Latin America, the Middle East and the Commonwealth of Independent States. The rise of single-aisle airplanes are the largest contributing factor in this growth.
With the globalized demand escalating tremendously who will build, repair, dispatch, and control all of these planes? YOU, that’s who! The demand is nearly tripling over the next 20 years for aircraft technicians, mechanics, air traffic control officers, and dispatch coordinators. In 2015 there were approximately 22,510 jet airplanes already in service, which is expected to nearly double to 45,240 aircraft by 2036. That means 39,620 new jets have to be manufactured, built, and transported.
Will you take this opportunity to request more information about this extremely expansive field?
The 5 Best Aviation Museums You Should Visit
More than a hundred years after the Wright Brothers made their iconic first flight in Kitty Hawk, North Carolina, we are still fascinated with the concept of aviation. Those two original brothers could not have conceived the impact their actions would have on an international scale–encompassing all aspects of society and forever changing the lives of billions of people in one form or another.
Barely a few decades after the original feat of conquering flight occurred, the airplane–as well as the men and women building and operating them–had evolved so dramatically in such a short period of time that it created what was, and is quite possibly still the largest explosion of technological advancement in recorded times. This means that although modern aviation cannot trace its roots back thousands of years like some other industries can, the incredibly quick progress in which the industry made–and continues to make–has left behind a rich and vibrant recorded history.
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Addicted to Aviation? Us Too. 6 Reasons We Just Can’t Stop
There’s nothing worse than choosing a career path, getting the training you need, only to ultimately find out you hate the job. This will never be a problem when you decide to pursue a career in aviation mechanics. Once you complete your training, you’ll discover that you love caring for planes.
There are multiple reasons you’re going to find yourself as addicted to aviation mechanics as we are.
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