Virtual Open House Touts Careers in Aviation Maintenance

PITTSBURGH, Pa. — The Pittsburgh Institute of Aeronautics is hosting a series of virtual public open houses Saturday to share information on in-demand jobs in aviation maintenance.

On May 30, the institute has open houses scheduled at its four campuses, including the campus at Youngstown-Warren Regional Airport, which is scheduled for 1 p.m. The main campus in Pittsburgh is scheduled for 10 a.m., followed by the Hagerstown, Md., campus at 11:30 a.m. and the Myrtle Beach, S.C., campus at 2:30 p.m.

“May 30 will be an all-new experience for all of us, as we’ve never attempted a virtual open house before,” said Suzanne Markle, president and CEO of the nonprofit PIA in a statement. “But we believe it it’s imperative to continue for both PIA and our employers that we deliver critical information about career demand to potential students.”

Aircraft maintenance has remained essential throughout the pandemic in the transportation of critical supplies and life-sustaining aerial support, Markle said in a release. As the world evolves into a restorative phase, she added, the skills of PIA graduates remain vital to recovery.

“There’s a maintenance protocol that has to be done on any airplane in storage and then after it’s been in storage. You can’t just pull it out, blow the dust off, and fly,” she said. “There is going to be an awful lot of required inspection and maintenance that needs to be done on these aircraft before they go back into service.”

During the virtual open house, faculty will provide virtual walk-throughs of the instruction buildings and offer virtual skills demonstrations. Click here for a sample video.

Before the shutdown, employers across diverse industries invested in PIA open houses to have first-hand conversations with prospective new workers. Many factors, including an aging aviation maintenance workforce and shortage of trained airframe and powerplant (A&P) technicians, have employers investing in recruiting serious candidates as early as pre-enrollment.

“Employers have historically traveled to PIA to begin the recruiting process as early as 1st semester and even partnering to raise career awareness prior to enrollment which is indicative of high demand,” said Markle. “Once enrolled, employers are more frequently following students’ progress to graduation, and it’s becoming more common for a student to receive an employment offer prior to graduation contingent on successfully completing the federal exam often with signing bonuses ranging from $2,500 to as high as $18,000.”

Click here to RSVP for the virtual open house.

Published by The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.