GNTC hosts Aviation Maintenance Career Day

November 7, 2023

Georgia Northwestern Technical College (GNTC) recently hosted Aviation Maintenance Career Day to enable area employers to network with alumni and current students of the Aviation Maintenance Technology program.

Four cohorts of Aviation Maintenance Technology classes participated in a career fair at GNTC’s Aviation Training Center at the Richard B. Russell Regional Airport in Rome. The event was designed to enable students to begin to plan their career path after graduating and earning their Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Aviation and Powerplant (A&P) certification. Students and alumni were also able to interview with prospective employers.

“There is a worldwide shortage of A&P mechanics, so we work with all of the aviation programs in the area,” said Jesse Peabody with Pratt & Whitney, an American aerospace manufacturer and subsidiary of RTX Corp. “It’s never been a better time to become an A&P mechanic because there are lots of good opportunities.”

Pratt & Whitney makes and overhauls aircraft engines. Peabody said he spoke with about 20 students at the event, where he was recruiting A&P mechanics for the company’s engine centers in Columbus, Georgia, and West Palm Beach, Florida.

Brian Flippo, maintenance manager with Chattanooga-based Crystal Air Inc., said his company also has A&P line maintenance vacancies and is hoping that a couple of the students he met will apply.

Flippo earned his Aviation Maintenance Technology diploma from GNTC in 2014.

(From left) Jessica Rivers, senior manager of Human Resources with StandardAero, speaks with GNTC students Landon Etzler and David Chen.
(From left) Jessica Rivers, senior manager of Human Resources with StandardAero, speaks with GNTC students Landon Etzler and David Chen.

“Aviation Maintenance is a career that’s often overlooked,” said John Healy, Aviation Maintenance Technology instructor and developer with Delta TechOps. “It’s a salary that will offer a very good lifestyle.”

Healy also said candidates can apply with Endeavor Air, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Delta Air Lines and a pathway to employment with Delta for mechanics and pilots.

Representatives from West Star Aviation, which is based in Chattanooga, also attended the event. West Star is a repair station and service center for select corporate airframes and has maintenance capabilities for most business and corporate airframes, according to West Star’s website.

The event included alumni and students—including students graduating in December—in both the Aviation Maintenance Technology and Aviation Maintenance Technician programs.

“I’ve dreamed of working for Delta all of my life,” said Will Whitton, who earned a certificate in Aviation Maintenance Technician-Airframe at GNTC. “I made a good connection today. If hired, I will be the third generation Delta employee in my family.”

David Chen, who is earning an Aviation Maintenance Technician certificate, and Landon Etzler, who is earning an associate degree in Aviation Maintenance Technology, said they are exploring job opportunities and feel their training at GNTC has prepared them for employment in the industry. They graduate this semester.

The Technical College System of Georgia (TCSG) has designated Aviation Maintenance Technology among dozens of high-demand careers where there are often more open positions than there are skilled workers to fill them.

GNTC students who wish to pursue one of Georgia’s high-demand careers may be eligible for a grant to pay 100% of tuition costs for select in-demand diploma and technical certificate programs. To be eligible for the HOPE Career Grant, students must first qualify for and be receiving the HOPE Grant. The two grants together will cover tuition.

Healy said the HOPE Career Grant means students can attend classes for almost no cost, and within six years, graduates could potentially earn more than $100,000 per year.

Georgia Northwestern Technical College provides quality workforce education to the citizens of northwest Georgia. Students have the opportunity to earn an associate degree, diploma or a certificate in aviation, business, health, industrial or public service career paths. This past year, 11,601 people benefited from GNTC’s credit and noncredit programs. GNTC has an annual credit enrollment of 8,071 students and an additional enrollment of 3,530 people through adult education, continuing education, business and industry training and Georgia Quick Start. GNTC is a unit of the Technical College System of Georgia and an Equal Opportunity Institution.

# # #