United has launched the Calibrate Technician Pathway Program, giving U.S. Army reservists and students from three prominent aviation maintenance schools a direct pathway to lucrative careers as technicians at the airline. In this initial phase of the program, United will establish partnerships with the U.S. Army Reserve in their Aviation Command Unit, National Aviation Academy, Aviation Institute of Maintenance and Pittsburgh Institute of Aeronautics with plans to bring in up to 300 eligible students per year.
This new program is in support of the airline's United Next growth plan – where the airline expects to take the delivery of 800 new aircraft between 2023 and 2032. United has already hired more than 3,200 technicians in the last 18 months and plans to hire thousands more by 2026 to support all the new planes entering the fleet.
"Investments in new aircraft and facilities require that we also increase our pipeline of maintenance technicians that will ensure our expansive fleet, facilities and equipment are safely and efficiently maintained," said Simone Drakes, Managing Director of Calibrate at United Airlines.
Once accepted into the Calibrate Technician Pathway Program, students must maintain a high GPA and strong attendance record to remain in the hiring pool after graduation. United will host interviews, open houses and career fairs at each of the schools. With the U.S. Army Reserve, United will host career fairs within the Aviation Command Unit's local communities and provide guidance on Airframe and PowerPlant certification programs to reservists. Recruiting through the U.S. Army Reserve will also help support United's hiring goals for ground service equipment and facilities technicians.
In partnership with United's talent acquisition team, reservists and students will be invited to apply and interview at the airline's Tech Ops Recruiting Center in Houston, Texas, as a final step after completing all necessary certifications on their own. Participants will have priority screening consideration and benefit from United's ecosystem, including access to mentorship opportunities with seasoned maintenance technicians and its 42 domestic Technical Operations stations. In the future, the airline plans to expand the program to also include its United Express carriers and Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul partners.