IAM Launches New Apprenticeship Program in Hawaii

The IAM and Hawaiian Airlines have partnered with Honolulu Community College to launch a new apprenticeship program to recruit and train local candidates interested in pursuing careers as aviation mechanics.

The joint apprenticeship program is part of the college’s Aeronautics Maintenance Technology Program and will provide valuable on-the-job experience for up to eight candidates as they work to obtain their FAA Airframe & Power plant (A&P) license.

Participants who earn their licenses through the apprenticeship program and demonstrate strong performance will be guaranteed a position with the airline as full-time IAM aircraft mechanics.

“In negotiations Hawaiian expressed their problem obtaining, and more importantly retaining mechanics,” said IAM Transportation General Vice President Sito Pantoja. “We jointly developed this program to address their concerns and develop a stable, long-term mechanic workforce.”

The apprenticeship program will help the union, and the company, meet the need for more A&P mechanics, once Hawaiian opens a state-of-the-art maintenance hangar at Honolulu International Airport next summer. The new facility will allow more aircraft, including wide-body jets, to be maintained in Hawaii, meaning more good paying jobs.

“We’re excited about the program because these future aircraft mechanics will be home grown,” said IAM District 142 Special Representative David Figueira. “While enrolled in school, they will be able to earn a decent wage and gain valuable experience, and if they are successful I completing the program, they are guaranteed a position as an IAM aircraft maintenance technician.”

Successful applicants started the program in September under the supervision of a lead mechanic. They will be paid as mechanics and perform hands-on repair and preventive maintenance work on Hawaiian Airlines aircraft for up to 18 months and a maximum of 20 hours per week.