West Star Aviation launches In-house Academy

West Star Aviation has announced West Star Aviation Academy (WSAA), a new and innovative solution to addressing the Aircraft Maintenance Technician shortage.

WSAA enables more women, men, and transitioning Military members to enter the aviation workforce by streamlining the old apprenticeship model and removing the financial barrier to obtain necessary skills and education to become a work-ready and licensed Aircraft Maintenance Technician (AMT).

West Star’s first WSAA cohort will include hiring 25 apprentices who will spend 7.5 months learning and earning wages and benefits through a full-time educational curriculum, coupled with hands-on practical training, mentoring and job shadowing in preparation for apprentices to test for their FAA license.

WSAA will be powered by Southwestern Illinois College through their Part-147 FAA approved curriculum and will be taught in a designated West Star learning hangar that incorporates the newly developed Choose Aerospace curriculum, along with proprietary West Star technical training.

WSAA will accelerate the skill development and abilities required to certify new technicians more quickly than the industry’s traditional 18-30-month on-the-job Apprenticeship program.

“We are very excited to offer a branded training program leveraging our community educational partners to provide a direct career pathway for those aspiring to be an AMT,” said Jim Rankin, CEO, West Star Aviation.

“For apprentices, it’s an opportunity to make a living while learning a highly skilled technical trade in less than a year.

“For West Star Aviation, WSAA will help ensure that we continually have a strong pipeline of skilled and licensed technicians to deliver industry-leading MRO services to business aviation customers worldwide.”