When Airborne Maintenance and Engineering Services (AMES), a provider of an integrated set of aircraft maintenance, repair and overhaul services for airlines and operators, noticed a high demand for aviation technicians but a shortage of workers, they sought opportunities to resolve this issue. AMES is the subsidiary of Air Transport Services Group (ATSG), located at the Wilmington Air Park in Clinton County. In March of 2016, AMES was awarded a $315,000 workforce grant from JobsOhio. This grant was designated to be used to train technicians in sheet metal repair for aircraft structures. 

AMES has used the grant to implement the Aviation Structures Training Apprenticeship Program for entry-level individuals seeking a career as an aviation technician.  The first class began on May 9, 2016 with eight new hire employees. The program is designed to provide a minimum of 18 months of hands-on experience to an individual through progressively more independent assignments. 

“These are aviation-related skilled tech jobs,” said Dan Evers, executive director of the Clinton County Port Authority. “They're not just retaining or returning jobs to Wilmington, but growing them with AMES growing exponentially as it is.”

During the training, students complete classroom and project assignments, and receive guidance from mentors. This program is an alternative to the FAA-approved Part 147 Aviation Maintenance Technician (AMT) Vocational Education program. Students who complete 18 months of training have the opportunity to apply for approval from the FAA to test for an Airframe (A) license. AMES is also offering ways for veterans to transition from a military approach to aviation into a civilian aviation approach.

AMES has held five program groups with a sixth coming this fall. Forty students have been inducted, 32 were external hires and eight were internal candidates being offered a career training opportunity. Thus far, AMES has 33 students still in various stages of the program. They are committed to providing training to 60 more students and are on their way to meeting that commitment. AMES plans to add four more class inductions in 2018.

More than 590 aerospace companies are in Ohio, where they have easy access to the Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio UAS Center at Springfield-Beckley Airport and the NASA Glenn Research Center to name a few.  Learn more about what Ohio offers for companies in Aerospace and Aviation.