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'The world needs people who care about airplanes': LCC training future aviation mechanics

Boeing reports that more than 600,000 maintenance technician jobs need to be filled over the next 20 years, as many in the industry reach retirement age. The greatest need for maintenance personnel is in the Asia Pacific region, which will require 256,000 new technicians. Airlines in North America will require 118,000. (SBG)

EUGENE, Ore. - A record number of passengers boarded airplanes this Memorial Day Weekend, but soon there will not be enough people to work on them.

Boeing reports that more than 600,000 maintenance technician jobs need to be filled over the next 20 years, as many in the industry reach retirement age. The greatest need for maintenance personnel is in the Asia Pacific region, which will require 256,000 new technicians. Airlines in North America will require 118,000.

"If you like flying on an airplane and you don't want your airplane falling apart, then you need these guys and girls to maintain them," said Jeremy Kaetterhenry, a certified instructor for the Aviation Maintenance Technician Program at Lane Community College.

Kaetterhenry said there has been a lull in enrollment and there are still 20 open positions for the 2018 fall term. The 2-year program teaches students how to take apart aircrafts and put them back together. Upon graduation, starting salaries for maintenance technicians range from $50,000 to $60,000 and there is a demand worldwide.

There are job opportunities outside of commercial airlines. Kaetterhenry said many of his graduates work on aircrafts that fight wildfires, haul timber, or work overseas with the U.S. Military.

"The world needs people who care about airplanes," said student Madison Ivory. Ivory left a four-year university to pursue aviation maintenance. She plans to work in the heli-skiing industry.

"I have learned more practical, hands-on skills and more competency and more confidence in myself than all the years that I've had in high school and at a university," Ivory said.

Graduates can also work in industries outside of aviation, including roller coaster and motorsports maintenance. No prior mechanic skills are necessary.

Interested students can learn more at an upcoming open house on June 7th.

Open House

June 7th

6:30 p.m. - 7:30 p.m.

Maintenance Training Facility

28735 Airport Rd, Eugene, OR 97402

Https://www.lanecc.edu/advtech/amt

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