KF Aerospace employee Michelle Hanry is a graduate of Okanagan College’s aircraft maintenance engineers program. (Okanagan College photos)

Okanagan College hosts aircraft maintenance open house

Event goes Wednesday at 6 p.m., free of charge, at Okanagan College aerospace campus next to YLW

With local, national and global demand for aircraft maintenance engineers (AME) soaring, Okanagan College is working with its industry partners to train the next generation of skilled technicians.

For area students that means significant career opportunities with companies such as KF Aerospace, one of the region’s largest employers (over the past four years, the company has hired every student to successfully complete the college’s AME Structures program). Among those alumni is 2014 grad Michelle Hanry.

“Getting hired straight after graduation and working for KF for the last three years has been an amazing experience,” said Hanry. “I have learned a lot from the senior structural engineers. KF’s growth and involvement in numerous contracts that require a variety of maintenance experience allow new apprentices to ease into the work and grow their skills quickly.”

An open house on Wednesday, co-hosted by Okanagan College and KF Aerospace in Kelowna, aims to open students’ eyes to the training and job opportunities in their flight path in both the College’s Structures (S) and Maintenance (M) programs.

“The industry demand is still so strong that even after a national search and hiring the entire class from the new November intake, we’re still looking for 30 more employees,” said Grant Stevens, director of human resources for KF Aerospace. “KF has been on quite the expansion and in the last 10 years has built three new hangars and tripled the floor space and the number of aircraft — staffing growth is our No. 1 obstacle to expansion.”

Those looking to train for careers as aircraft maintenance engineers can choose from two offerings at the college — the Maintenance or M-Licence program, which covers everything from engines to electrical components in fixed-wing aircraft and helicopters, or the Structures (S-Licence) program, which covers the fabrication, assembly, installation, and repair of an aircraft’s structure.

The 62-week (approximately 15 months) M-Licence program is offered in partnership with Northern Lights College (NLC) in Dawson Creek. The first 48 weeks of training take place at Okanagan College Aerospace Campus in Vernon. The final 14 weeks of training take place at Northern Lights College in Dawson Creek.

The 37-week (approximately nine months) S-Licence program operates out of the college’s Aerospace Campus in Kelowna. Students train steps away from KF Aerospace’s cutting-edge hangars and have opportunities to tour, meet and speak to KF’s experienced AME-S technicians and apprentices — many of whom are OC alumni.

“Aircraft maintenance engineers, both M and S streams, have always been some of the most sought-after workers in aviation,” said Steve Moores, dean of trades and apprenticeship at Okanagan College. “To help address the demand locally, the college opened an additional intake last November with support from KF Aerospace and the Industry Training Authority and we look forward to continuing to work together to address the demand.”

The open house starts at 6 p.m. Wednesday at OC’s aerospace campus adjacent to KF Aerospace’s hangars at the Kelowna International Airport. It will provide prospective students with a chance to learn about both programs while also learning about job prospects and career paths in the aviation industry. Attendance is free and open to the public.

More information about the college’s AME programs and the upcoming open house is available at www.okanagan.bc.ca/ame.



newstips@vernonmorningstar.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Peachland councillor announces bid for mayor

Keith Thom says after four years on council, he feels he’s ready

Defence minister in Kelowna to talk to flood relief soldiers

Canadian Army has 300 soldiers on the Okanagan and Grand Folks areas to help with flood relief

Kelowna’s Fat Cat Children’s Festival gearing up for its 28th year

The popular two-day kid-focused festival will take place in Waterfront Park

World of Wheels spins through Peachland

World of Wheels brings thousands for a day of family fun

Kelowna’s Shadow Ridge Golf Club beats the water

They pitched in and managed to get the upper hand on a soggy situation

VIDEO: After the floods, comes the cleanup as Grand Forks rebuilds

Business owners in downtown wonder how long it will take for things to go back to normal

Couple survives being buried in mudslide on B.C. highway

The couple, from Saskatchewan, were en route to Nelson when a tree fell in their path

Kelsey Serwa brings back KSer golf tourney

Tournament at Gallagher’s Canyon Aug. 24 to benefit graduating high school athletes

‘So grateful:’ Injured Bronco hockey player glad he’s alive, works on recovery

Ryan Straschnitzki was badly hurt in the accident: a spinal injury, broken ribs, a broken collar bone, and punctured lung

PHOTOS: Floodwaters rise and fall in Grand Forks

The flood-ravaged Kootenay-Boundary region begins to heal

Martin Mars waterbombers’ firefighting days are done

Wayne Coulson said his company still hopes to find a new home for the vintage aircraft

Cat stuck on telephone pole in the South Okanagan rescued

FortisBC rescued a cat stuck on a telephone pole in Kaleden

NHL playoffs weekly roundup

Vegas Golden Knights have done the impossible and have a chance at hoisting the Stanley Cup

Kelowna sailors stay the course at COSA Regatta

38th Annual Springtime Regatta was held over the May long weekend on Okanagan Lake.

Most Read