FlightPath9 Training Program: Airbus & Snap-on Industrial

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Original article posted on November 21, 2019 by Aviation Maintenance, www.avm-mag.com

In this new partnership, Airbus and Snap-on look to create a pathway for high school students to prepare for careers in aviation maintenance, aircraft manufacturing and other aerospace-related jobs to help contend with the coming need for skilled workers.

Airbus estimates the aviation industry will need to hire 640,000 new technicians in the next 20 years, according to its recently released Global Market Forecast for 2019-2038. To assist in this effort, Airbus is partnering with Snap-on to help train this next generation of technicians through a bold new program called FlightPath9, which prepares high school seniors for careers in aviation.

The FlightPath9 program targets southern Alabama high school seniors with a desire to work in aerospace. The nine-month course curriculum includes several aviation-focused Snap-on certifications that are facilitated through the National Coalition of Certification Centers (NC3). Snap-on certifications are designed to further the tool usage skills and hands-on knowledge of students. These include:

  • Precision Measuring Instruments (in partnership with L.S. Starrett Corporation)
  • Precision Electrical Termination (in partnership with Daniels Manufacturing Corporation)
  • Structural Sheetmetal Assembly
  • Mechanical and Electronic Torque
  • Multimeter
  • Tools at Height

“We partnered with Snap-on because Airbus uses Snap-on tools in the U.S. Manufacturing Facility, and it had already developed these certifications for the aviation industry. It’s a good match for the students in the training program who will join the Airbus team upon successful completion of the FlightPath9 program,” says Michelle Hurdle, director of Economic and Community Development, Airbus Americas.

“The partnership Snap-on has with Airbus is a perfect example of the types of collaboration we seek within the aviation industry, helping to create a program that will improve the skills and knowledge of tomorrow’s technicians,” says John Gamble, education partnerships manager, Snap-on Industrial.

Snap-on certification courses emphasize tool theory, application, and usage: three areas of study that equip students with an essential foundation for proficiency, productivity, and safety. The certifications provide conformity to an established standard and will be integrated into the existing course curriculum being taught by FlightPath9, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University and Airbus instructors.

FlightPath9 and Fast Track

The first FlightPath9 class started last month with 25 students who attend four hours of class two evenings per week in a training center near the Airbus aircraft production facility in Mobile, AL. FlightPath9 will lay the foundation of a career in aviation for students, some of whom may have little to no prior aviation or aerospace experience.

FlightPath9 is a nine-month program of training that students attend after school. Taking place two evenings a week, it adds up to 200 hours of instruction. Upon graduation, those students are then ready to enter Airbus’ Fast Track program.

When students successfully complete FlightPath9, they enter the second phase of training called Fast Track. Fast Track is a 12- to 15-week experience designed to give new Airbus hires training in the basic skills, knowledge and abilities for a career in aerospace maintenance. It teaches a program of global competencies for working on aircraft. Students in the program hone their skills on aircraft assembly, including torqueing, riveting, gauging, reading blueprints, tool use, ergonomics and more. Students entering Fast Track will be full-time Airbus employees, earning a salary, benefits, etc. Fast Track is not limited to students from the FlightPath9 program.

“These programs are really about inspiring kids, giving them STEM-focused education and awareness to aviation. Our goal is to impact the community as a whole,” according to Hurdle. Students who successfully complete Fast Track will work on the assembly of Airbus’ A220 and A320 aircraft.

In addition to earning certifications, eligible students can also receive special student pricing on Snap-on tools through Snap-on’s Student Excellence Program.

For more information on Snap-on’s certification program, call John Gamble (413) 441-5429; email, education@snapon.com; or visit https://www.snapon.com/Industrial-Certification. For more information on Airbus’ FlightPath9 and Fast Track training programs, visit https://airbusalabama.com/.

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