College partners with airline to meet hiring demand

By Kathryn Kelman/editor-in-chief

TCC has partnered with Delta Air Lines in an effort to meet the impending demand for aircraft maintenance technicians. 

The airline industry is experiencing steady growth, but more than 50 percent of the current AMT workforce is eligible for retirement, said aviation mechanic technician instructor Darrel Irby. 

“The critical issue of the AMT workforce is age and attrition,” he said. 

AMTs service, repair and overhaul aircrafts and aircraft components to keep them in safe flying condition, according to the 2018 Boeing Pilot and Technician outlook, around 754,000 new maintenance technicians will be needed over the next 20 years.

The college already has an AMT program that is offered at the Erma C. Johnson Hadley Northwest Center of Excellence for Aviation, Transportation & Logistics at Fort Worth’s Alliance Airport. The program prepares students to take the Federal Aviation Administration exams for airframe and powerplant, licenses required for AMTs. 

“This agreement represents a unique opportunity for students to learn exactly what it takes to attain a career with one of the world’s largest airlines,” Irby said. 

TCC is one of only 37 schools across the country Delta, the world’s second-largest airline, selected to help prepare for this hiring need. 

When looking for colleges to partner with, Delta assessed equipment, facilities, level of hands-on training and quality of teaching, said Joe McDermott, Delta’s managing director for cabin maintenance, training and support services. 

“By partnering directly with schools like Tarrant County College, Delta is providing direct support and real-world training to potential aviation professionals and creating a pipeline for Delta’s future AMT workforce,” McDermott said.

The partnership with Delta will provide students in the program more resources, including aircraft components and systems they can use in training as well as technical data and lesson plans. Graduates of the program will also benefit as they will have better opportunities to apply for positions with the company, according to the press release. 

“We are gratified to be able to offer students access to Delta’s resources and to continue to shape our training to meet the needs of the industry,” Irby said.