Airbus has launched two new hiring programs designed to employ applicants with little-to-no aviation or aerospace experience. The two programs, FlightPath9 and Fast Track, are intended to train participants for the aircraft production workforce from within the Mobile community, where its A220 and A320 production facilities are located.
The first program, FlightPath9, targets high school seniors with a desire to work in aerospace. Flight Works Alabama will run the program, and has partnered with Airbus, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University (ERAU), Cintas, Snap-On Tools, Southwest Alabama Partnership for Training & Employment, and the National Coalition of Certification Centers (NC3) to offer a nine-month comprehensive learning program involving NC3 Snap-on certifications, ERAU instruction, guest speakers, success coaches and more. The students will attend training after school during their senior year of high school.
“The ideal candidate for FlightPath9 is that student with an aptitude for working with his or her hands, and an interest in working in the aviation industry right out of high school. They must be willing and able to participate in a nine-month program, be drug-free, can read, write, do math, be 18 years or older by June 2020, and can adhere to “soft” work skills: show up to work every day and on time, can work in a team with respect for all co-workers, be dedicated, driven and determined. Give us that, and we’ll give you a chance at a career,” said Daryl Taylor, Vice President & General Manager of the Airbus A320 Manufacturing Facility in Mobile.
Upon graduation, the students who successfully complete this program have the opportunity to start their career with Airbus through the second program Airbus announced today: Fast Track.
Fast Track is a 12 to 15-week program that will bring individuals with little-to-no aviation manufacturing experience into the company and give them the skills, knowledge and ability required for an aerospace maintenance career.
Like FlightPath9, ideal candidates for Fast Track must exhibit an aptitude for working with their hands, and an interest in working in the aviation industry. They must be drug-free, able to read, write, do basic math, be at least 18 years old, and able to exhibit job experience where they showed up to work every day, on time, can work in a team with respect for all co-workers and are dedicated, driven and determined.
“In turn, we’ll teach and measure these employees in a program of global competencies for working on aircraft: torqueing, riveting, gauging, reading blueprints (written and digital), how to use tools, ergonomics, and more,” said Taylor. “When they come out of that training, the employee ‘graduates’ to on-the-job training on A220 and A320 aircraft.”
Starting positions are electrical or structural assemblers, and corrosion team. The jobs are listed on the Airbus ApplicantPro career site with a planned early-June start date for the first class. People who have applied for these positions in the past and been turned down only due to lack of experience are encouraged to reapply. Airbus intends to offer this program on a regular basis, and will schedule it as hiring needs dictate.
“These are two great initiatives from Airbus that help build their workforce, but more importantly, build Alabama’s workforce and put our people onto a path to a wonderful career in a growing and thriving industry,” said Alabama Governor Kay Ivey during a ceremony introducing the first FlightPath9 students.
Airbus announced in July 2012 that it would establish a major manufacturing facility in the United States to assemble and deliver A320 Family single-aisle aircraft. Located at the Mobile Aeroplex at Brookley, in Mobile, Alabama, it is the company’s first U.S.-based production facility.
Aircraft assembly began in Mobile in July 2015, and delivered its first aircraft in April 2016. In January 2019, a groundbreaking was held to launch construction of a new assembly line for A220 aircraft. Production will begin in Q3 2019. The assembly line, which strengthens overall the U.S. aerospace industry, is part of Airbus’ strategy to enhance its global competitiveness by meeting the growing needs of its customers in the United States and beyond.