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Critical-skills positions require a talent pool specifically trained for those jobs. A new airframe and powerplant (A&P) mechanic program being developed at Southern Oklahoma Technology Center in Ardmore, OK, serves to increase a skills-based workforce for such leading area employers as King Aerospace.
King Aerospace held a luncheon on June 29 for program organizers as part of its public-private sector collaboration. Roy Lischinsky, vice president of operations at King Aerospace Commercial Corporation, will serve on SouthernTech’s advisory board. The program will meet requirements for students to take the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) exam needed to earn certification as an airframe and powerplant (A&P) mechanic. This certificate authorizes the holder to approve aircraft that have undergone inspection or maintenance for return to service.
“We are excited to start the process of forming an advisory committee and to have Roy Lischinsky from King Aerospace graciously serve in this capacity,” says Dr. Eric Ward, recently named superintendent of SouthernTech. “The advisory committee will help us educate and train students to work in the aerospace industry. As with all our programs, we are interested in the expertise of those working in the field as they can provide invaluable insight into classroom layout, curriculum, and regulations. They also provide a network of potential employers for our students.”
The new program builds off of the success of the school’s auto-mechanic program. Program graduates will provide a pipeline of hard-to-find talent. SouthernTech received a $4 million grant from the Economic Development Administration (EDA) CARES Act to create the program, its first for the aviation industry. The grant is the largest SouthernTech has ever been awarded. Grant funding will be used to build a 18,775-square-foot training facility with a shop area, classrooms and lab spaces that enable hands-on training with real equipment and aircraft. Details and curriculum are still being finalized, but it is likely that the program will take one year from start to finish.
“Graduates will be in high demand for aviation careers and other fields that require a high degree of mechanical knowledge,” says Lischinsky.
The school opened in 1966 as one of the first rural career and technology centers in the state. It has served more than 11,000 students with an average enrollment of around 145. The new A&P program is expected to graduate 16 students a year. SouthernTech serves both secondary and post-secondary students from seven Southern Oklahoma counties. Students earn industry-based credentials for high-skill, high-wage, high-demand careers year with an average of 90% effectively placed in quality jobs. You can lean more about the school at SOTECH.edu.
A Culture Based on Servant Leadership
King Aerospace is an equal opportunity employer known for its distinctive King Kulture. Chairman Jerry King launched the company in 1992. His son, Jarid, became president in 2016. The founding principles of serving out of love, operating with integrity and taking a problem-solving approach to all challenges hold true today.
“As one of the few family-owned providers left, we offer something very unique to prospective hires,” says Jarid King. “We are not beholding to shareowners more concerned with profit than performance. Earning a fair profit is part of our Cornerstone Principles, but we exist to make a positive difference in the lives of others. Successful job candidates need to have the right skillsets, but they also will be looking for a meaningful, difference-making career.”
King Aerospace stresses doing things right always, even when no one is looking. Team members earn their gold wings by demonstrating proficiency and a commitment to the company’s Cornerstone Principles. If probationary team members fail to earn their wings, they are asked to move on. This keeps standards high and unifies the team.
“When you see team members with gold wings on their uniforms, it tells you not just who they work for, but that they represent our values,” says King.
King Aerospace’s AS9110C-certified maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) facility in Ardmore is an authorized FAA and EASA Repair Station. It specializes in Boeing Business Jets (BBJs), but also supports Gulfstream, Falcon, Global Express and Learjet aircraft. It offers full avionics, structures, interiors, maintenance and paint for corporate aircraft, and depot-related services for its sister company, King Aerospace Inc., which serves government and military customers. Its Ardmore campus includes 200,000 square feet of hangar space, a 9,000×150-foot paved runway, and a fixed-base operation.
You can find open positions and apply here: KingAerospace.com/Careers.
This press release was prepared and distributed by King Aerospace