11.05.18-Press Releases-Maintenance
11.05.18-Press Releases-Maintenance

Amid the Global Shortage of Aircraft Mechanics, Students Flock to L.A.’s Top Training Program for Hands-On Learning and Promise of High-Skilled Jobs

Clay Lacy Aviation is awarding student aircraft mechanics over $10,000 in annual scholarship funds to attend Van Nuys Airport’s Aviation Center, where opportunities for women are soaring

(Los Angeles, Calif. – November 5, 2018) Across the nation, airframe and power plant (A&P) mechanics are retiring faster than they can be replaced. However, for the 150 aspiring maintenance professionals enrolled at the Van Nuys Airport’s Aviation Center (AV-Center) – operated by the Los Angeles Unified School District’s Division of Adult and Career Education – opportunities are climbing, especially for women.

According to the Aviation Technician Education Council (ATEC), while new entrants to the field make up 2 percent of the aviation maintenance technician pipeline annually, 30 percent of the workforce is at or near retirement age. And, the aircraft mechanic population is projected to decrease by 5 percent over the next 15 years. To address the looming workforce shortage, there is significant opportunity to attract more women to the field, who currently make up only 2.3 percent of the nation’s approximately 286,000 certificated A&P mechanics.
(Source: http://www.atec-amt.org/uploads/1/0/7/5/10756256/atec-pipelinereport-20171211.pdf )

Gearing students for high-skilled, high-paying jobs in the aviation industry, Clay Lacy Aviation is awarding more than $10,000 in scholarships to aspiring A&P mechanics to attend the AV-Center – the only program of its kind in California that is located at an airport and open to high school students. An impressive 10 percent of those enrolled in the program are female, topping the national average for women employed in this profession.

Ed Mirzakhanian, VP of Maintenance at Clay Lacy presents a scholarship check to Ellen Baker, Principal LAUSD-North Valley Occupational Center. Also pictured Left to Right, Scott Cutshall, VP of Brand Development at Clay Lacy, Refugio Rios, Assistant Principal LAUSD-NVOC, Laura Hockemeyer, Marketing Manager, Clay Lacy.

“Promoting and supporting prosperous careers for students in aircraft maintenance is critical for the future success of the aviation industry,” said Clay Lacy Aviation President and CEO Brian Kirkdoffer. “Graduates will have great opportunities for exciting jobs and careers in commercial, military and corporate aircraft fields. We look forward to having many of them join the Clay Lacy Aviation team!”

Since 2015, Clay Lacy Aviation has awarded $40,800 in financial assistance to 100 students to defray the costs of tuition, books, tools and certification exams at the AV-Center. This includes 20-year-old Monica Hernandez, a native of Sun Valley, Calif. and former customer service representative for Clay Lacy Aviation. “I know this education will take me far and that I will always have a good income,” said Hernandez, who is slated to graduate at the end of November. “In high school, I remember a counselor telling our class that college is not for everyone and to invest time in discovering what you’re good at. I attend class full-time, Monday to Friday, and also work as a technician at Jet Propulsion Laboratory. Even though I get only four hours of sleep a night, I feel so grateful for this opportunity. Tuition is affordable, so I won’t have any student debt when I graduate.”

NVOC students receive scholarship award from Clay Lacy Aviation.


Founded in 1973, the AV-Center holds both day and evening classes, and is open to adults and students over age 16. It offers a combination of classroom lecture and shop-oriented projects, with facilities that allow students to work on propeller aircraft, helicopters and jets – including a retired Learjet 24 and Gulfstream GIISP donated by Clay Lacy Aviation. Annual tuition is $1,200 for full-time students, who can complete the program in two years. Classes are held during the day, Monday to Friday, from 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. and evening, Monday to Thursday, from 5:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.

Graduates who pass the required Federal Aviation Administration licensing examination in General Airframe and Aircraft Powerplant Mechanics enjoy an over 95 percent job placement rate. Many land positions with major and regional airlines, corporate flight departments, and aerospace products and parts manufacturing companies. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median pay for aircraft mechanics is nearly $30 per hour or $61,260 per year.

“The AV-Center plays a critical role in helping to address demand for certificated A&P mechanics amid the global shortage, and we are grateful to Clay Lacy Aviation for benefitting our program so significantly,” said Rosario Galvan, Administrator of the Division of Adult and Career Education for the Los Angeles Unified School District. “This is truly an exciting time in adult education as we prepare members of our community for successful careers in the aviation and aerospace industries.”

This year’s scholarship recipients will be announced on Thursday, Nov. 8, at 11:30 a.m. during the
AV-Center’s annual Veteran’s Day barbeque, 16550 Saticoy St., Van Nuys, 91406. For more information about the aircraft mechanic program and Clay Lacy Aviation scholarships, visit nvoc.org.

About Clay Lacy Aviation
Clay Lacy Aviation was founded in 1968 by legendary aviator and industry pioneer Clay Lacy. Prominent individuals and leading corporations trust Clay Lacy Aviation for aircraft management, charter, maintenance, avionics, interiors, FBO services and Quest Kodiak sales. The company has aircraft operations and regional offices across the U.S., including full-service FBOs at Van Nuys Airport in Los Angeles and Boeing Field in Seattle, and FAA repair stations in Van Nuys, Seattle and San Diego. Clay Lacy Aviation is also the authorized dealer for the Quest Kodiak in the Northeastern and Western U.S. With the most knowledgeable team in the industry, Clay Lacy Aviation is the world’s most experienced operator of private jets delivering superior safety, service and value to aircraft owners and jet travelers worldwide. Visit claylacy.com.

Press Contact
Scott Cutshall
Clay Lacy Aviation
+1 (818) 989-2900 X706

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