Demand for aviation workforce fuels AAR, WSU Tech partnership

WICHITA, Kan.- AAR (NYSE: AIR), a global provider of aviation services, and WSU Tech today announced their new aviation maintenance education and training partnership to further enhance instruction as well as student job experiences and career prospects at AAR upon graduation.

AAR’s EAGLE Career Pathway program will expand the curriculum of WSU Tech’s aviation maintenance technology program to include job shadowing and mentoring, as well as academic support and monitoring. WSU Tech students who pursue the FAA-certified aircraft mechanic’s certificate are eligible for up to $15,000 in tuition reimbursements from AAR.

AAR Partnership Signing

“WSU Tech is excited about this new partnership with AAR and the EAGLE Career Pathway program,” said Dr. Sheree Utash, President of WSU Tech. “This program will create more opportunities for our students by providing  stackable skills and certifications that lead directly to jobs at AAR along with much needed financial assistance for students to continue their education and advance their careers.  We are grateful to AAR for their commitment to The National Center for Aviation Training, their commitment to support to students, and assisting WSU Tech to ensure that our college focuses on the development of a talent ecosystem relevant to the demands of today’s workforce.”

AAR Vice President of Maintenance Workforce Development, Ryan Goertzen, joined WSU Tech President, Dr. Sheree Utash and Dean of Aviation Technologies, Jim Hall as well as a hangar full of WSU Tech Aviation Maintenance Technology students for the official announcement on Monday at WSU Tech’s main campus, the National Center for Aviation Training, located in Wichita, KS.

“We are honored to collaborate with WSU Tech to implement this advanced, hands-on element to their A&P certification program,” said Ryan Goertzen, AAR Vice President of Maintenance Workforce Development. “The EAGLE Career Pathway program equips students with onsite job experience and competitive skills, so they graduate prepared for the workforce and aware of the diverse and exciting aviation fields and certifications they can pursue as a career. We look forward to their alumni joining our MRO team.”

AAR’s partnership with WSU Tech is one of many ways the company is connecting students with education and real-world job experience to fill the gaps in aviation for middle skills that do not require a bachelor’s degree. There is demand for 193,000 new mechanics in North America through 2037, according to a Boeing study. But aircraft maintenance technicians (AMTs) are already in short supply.

“Wichita is historically a general aviation hub and at the National Center for Aviation Training we are internationally known for producing high-quality general aviation airframe and powerplant mechanics,” said Jim Hall, Dean of Aviation Technologies at WSU Tech “Partnering with AAR provides WSU Tech’s aviation maintenance program the opportunity to expand its training to include commercial aviation and will allow WSU Tech to produce high-quality commercial aviation mechanics. This furthers our mission to grow and expand our program to supply the best A&P Mechanics to both local and national employers.” 

AAR Partnership Signing

AAR is introducing the EAGLE Career Pathway at schools near its five U.S. aircraft repair stations. EAGLE demonstrates how students can earn portable, stackable skills leading to multiple career paths at AAR. The stackable skills will enable interested students to pursue the coveted position of FAA-certified airframe and powerplant (A&P) mechanic.


WSU Tech is the state’s leader in modern technical education offering over 100 degree and certificate options in aviation, health care, manufacturing, design, information technology, police science and business. In 2018, WSU Tech was named the 2nd fastest growing college among two-year colleges by The Chronicle of Higher Education. WSU Tech serves as managing partner of the National Center for Aviation Training (NCAT) in Wichita, KS and is fully accredited by The Higher Learning Commission and is a Kansas Board of Regents institution. For more information, visit

AAR is a global aerospace and defense aftermarket solutions company that employs more than 6,000 people in more than 20 countries. Headquartered in the Chicago area, AAR supports commercial and government customers through two operating segments: Aviation Services and Expeditionary Services. AAR’s Aviation Services include parts supply; OEM solutions; integrated solutions; maintenance, repair, overhaul; and engineering. AAR’s Expeditionary Services include mobility systems and composite manufacturing operations. Additional information can be found at

AAR Media contact: Daniela Pietsch, Vice President Corporate Marketing & Communications, at or +1 630-227-5100.