AAR has entered a new partnership with Corporation for Skilled Workforce (CSW) to grow and diversify the talent pool of aviation maintenance technicians and reduce future labor shortages. The initiative, powered by a grant from Lumina Foundation, will also raise awareness of lucrative aircraft repair jobs and career pathways in aviation.

Through October 2021, AAR and CSW will engage community colleges and technical training providers in strategic locations to develop competency-based programs, curriculum and stackable credentials that meet FAA Airframe and Powerplant (A&P) requirements. In September, AAR is launching a pilot program to mentor and develop a cohort of up to 20 women in aviation maintenance at its aircraft repair facility in Miami, Florida. The initiative also will expand Skillbridge programs to provide job opportunities for military veterans and active duty personnel who are transitioning to civilian aviation maintenance careers.

“As our industry re-builds following the impact of COVID-19, we have a unique opportunity to strengthen the talent pipeline through recruitment of groups that historically have been under-represented in aviation,” said John Holmes, AAR President and CEO. “At AAR, we are committed to our core value, Work as One, Be Inclusive, and excited to partner with CSW and Lumina to address our workforce challenges while at the same time increasing our diversity.”


To see how a pilot academy is diversifying its commercial pilot pool, read Woefully Under-Represented.


The average age of an aviation maintenance technician is 54. The project expands AAR’s work under its EAGLE Career Pathways Program at seven colleges and technical training centers in the U.S. to mitigate mass retirements in the industry by diversifying the talent pool. The need for skilled technicians has slowed during the pandemic, but we are training new workers now to meet future demands as the industry recovers.

“The success of this project is important to generate more diversity in the aviation industry,” said Holly Zanville, strategy director at Lumina Foundation. “The need for aviation technicians over the next 20 years is unprecedented. Aviation schools are only producing half the required students to support the needs of the industry.”