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New AandP Program to Benefit Southern Oklahoma Aviation Industry

Critical-skills positions require a talent pool specifically trained for those jobs. A new airframe and powerplant (Aandamp;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 the requirements for students to take the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) exam needed to earn certification as an Aandamp;P mechanic. This certificate authorizes the hold 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 an 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."As one of the few family-owned providers left, we offer something very unique to prospective hires," said Jarid King, president of King Aerospace. "We are not beholding to shareowners more concerned with profit than performance. Earning a fair profit as 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.
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