Collaboration Launches New Apprenticeship Program at Hawker Pacific Aerospace


Guest post by Tracy Difilippis, Senior Strategies Manager at Goodwill Southern California and AMP SoCal Pillar Committee Member

Truly a collaborative effort! On Tuesday, August 23rd 2016, Hawker Pacific Aerospace signed their Department of Labor (DOL) Standards for Apprenticeship. This moment was preceded by a couple of months of developmental work between the DOL and Hawker Pacific, and prior to that there was quite a bit of time dedicated to shepherding the idea to the place of concentrated action. Apprenticeship is not a common practice these days, and companies do not have the handy blueprints or natural wherewithal of how to put one together. It takes some doing. In this case, the glue was Goodwill of Southern California. Goodwill managed the process and kept the project moving forward. Because of their ‘Intermediary’ role, Goodwill Southern California (GSC) was able to foster the time and attention to enable the information to exchange hands, get questions answered, act as a liaison, and facilitate closure. All of this was done without an apprenticeship grant and without a specific mandate.

Hawker ApprenticeshipThe energy behind this undertaking came from a collaboration that was born out of relationships that were established a year and a half ago with the American Apprenticeship Initiative. Key people from industry, education, government, and community believed that this activity was possible and important enough to dedicate time to it. The path forward is now laid for this ‘history-making’ apprenticeship to launch. German-held Lufthansa Technik-Group is the parent company of Hawker Pacific Aerospace. The global network of the Lufthansa Technik Group with about 30 affiliates and subsidiaries and numerous maintenance stations worldwide is a leading provider of services for the aviation industry and now hosts the first International US DOL Registered Apprenticeship through Hawker Pacific.

A local YouthBuild affiliated program, Cloud & Fire, will host the pre-apprenticeship to Hawker and prepare youth for an exciting career in Aerospace with a global leader in Landing Gear MRO.

Main drivers behind the decision to begin an apprenticeship program came down to the inability of finding skilled workers and the complication of a retiring and graying workforce. Both of these dynamics weighed heavy on the Sun Valley, CA – based company and clinched their belief in the apprenticeship model. V.P. of Landing Gear, Brian Carr, said the company initially talked about starting an apprenticeship program about eight years ago. He said the topic always came up when it came down to hiring ‘machinists’ and not finding enough suitable candidates from the local pool. The Hawker team worked diligently with Goodwill So Cal and the California State US DOL Director of Apprenticeship to develop the Standards. Final Registration will occur when the Office of Apprenticeship issues the Registration upon receiving the Standards. Occupations are:

  • MACHINE OPERATOR I
    O’Net Code: 51-4081.00  Rapids Code: 0511 
  • NIMS CERTIFIED COMPUTER-CONTROLLED MACHINE TOOL OPERATORS, METAL AND PLASTIC
    O*NET-SOC Code: 51-4012.00   Rapids Code: 1100CB 
  • GRINDER SET-UP OPERATOR – LAPPING, POLISHING, AND BUFFING MACHINE TOOL SETTERS, OPERATORS, AND TENDERS, METAL AND PLASTIC
    O*NET-SOC Code: 51-4033.00   Rapids Code: 0635

Celebrating the event on Tuesday involved the larger community of workforce development stakeholders: L.A. County CSS, L.A. County WDB, Congressman Tony Cardenas’ Office, Cloud & Fire YouthBuild, AMP SoCal, NTMA-SFV, and members of the Hawker team. Congratulations Hawker!!

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