Piper Aircraft Inc. will offer those interested in joining the company’s next group of aircraft assembly apprentices a choice of online seminars in the coming weeks to explain an accredited two-year program that began in 2019 to attract skilled workers to the aircraft manufacturing industry.
The first class of nine paid apprentices began their two-year journey in 2019 and coincided with Piper orders driven by more than 250 training aircraft through contracts with Fanmei Aviation Technologies in China and ATP Flight School in the United States. The aircraft fabrication program for apprentices grew to 20 the following year.
The 2021 apprenticeship class will be the manufacturer’s third group when their training begins in August. Potential apprentices can attend virtual information sessions March 10 at 6 p.m. Eastern time, March 30 at 7 p.m., April 8 at 8 p.m., or April 20 at 7 p.m.
The information sessions will provide program details and answer questions about work schedules, college credit, benefits, expectations, and the application process. Piper said the online sessions will be available via smartphone, tablet, or home computer.
At the end of the program, the apprentices will qualify as aircraft assembly journeymen after completing a combination of on-the-job training, classroom instruction, and mentorship.
The longtime aircraft manufacturer counts more than 37,000 aircraft produced since 1937 and currently has about 1,000 workers making the company’s 13 aircraft models, which range from the M600/SLS turboprop with Garmin Autoland technology to the Pilot 100 and 100i line of normally aspirated three-person single-engine trainers. The application deadline is May 28.