TSTC and Bombardier train apprentices for aerospace industry

(RED OAK, Texas) – The Bombardier Aviation Apprenticeship Program that partners with Texas State Technical College is recruiting students for its next cohort of aviation apprentices.

In late 2019, aviation company Bombardier and TSTC joined forces for a paid apprenticeship program to prepare students to be aerospace assembly mechanics. The program includes 12 weeks of training at TSTC’s North Texas campus, followed by 12 weeks of training at Bombardier’s Red Oak facility.

The apprenticeship program helps to develop local talent to work on the manufacture of the Smooth Flex Wing for Bombardier’s industry-defining Global 7500 aircraft.

Marcus Balch, provost for TSTC’s North Texas campus, said the program provides an opportunity that others might not.

“Someone that may not necessarily be able to quit what they’re doing as far as if they’re working, getting paid and obviously supporting a family, they may not be able to press pause to come to TSTC to go through a program for a year or two in order to get that great-paying job,” he said. “With this program, it does give individuals the opportunity to transition into a paid training position and continue to support their families without any type of gap.”

The apprenticeship program also offers a unique opportunity to join a new industry with no required prior training or knowledge.

“I think the fact that there are no prerequisites, there are no skills necessarily required, is big,” Adam Barber, TSTC’s executive director of Workforce Training and Continuing Education, said. “We’ve had folks from 18 years old up to probably in their 60s. Some came from fast food or retail, and some had some level of aviation experience. The opportunity is really endless for them if they put in the hard work.”

Jorge Gil, a Bombardier trainer who works with students during the second half of their apprenticeships, said the apprenticeship program has had a large impact on his own life.

“I’ve been doing this for nearly 40 years, and this has given me the best opportunity of my life,” he said. “I started with zero experience and have been able to provide for my family, my children, my children’s education. It’s done so much for me personally that it’s just unbelievable.”

Gil said he has enjoyed being able to see and contribute to the same growth and opportunity for others.

“It’s been so fulfilling for me because of the mere fact that I see these kids go from nothing to a potential career, and there’s a tremendous amount of growth for them intellectually and financially in the future for them,” he said. “It’s a legacy that I leave behind.”

Balch encouraged people to look into the program, experienced or not.

“We’re looking for someone who is trainable, who is willing to work with their hands, that is potentially good with hand tools or can be taught to be good with hand tools. Really anybody who has a desire to explore an opportunity in the aviation industry is welcome to throw their name in the hat,” he said.

The next cohort of students will begin sometime in late June and will be the ninth cohort since the partnership began. 

A hiring event will be held on Wednesday, May 31, from 4 to 7 p.m. at TSTC’s North Texas campus. 

For more information about the program or the event, contact Barber at 254-867-3041 or adam.barber@tstc.edu.

Headquartered in Montreal, Canada, Bombardier is a global leader in aviation. Its products and services provide world-class experiences that set new standards in passenger comfort, energy efficiency, reliability and safety.

Registration for TSTC’s fall semester is underway. For more information, go to tstc.edu.

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