Today, Carsten Spohr, Chairman of the Executive Board and CEO of Deutsche Lufthansa AG, met with U.S. Secretary of Labor Alexander Acosta to officially recognize the U.S. aviation industry’s first federally registered MRO apprenticeship program. The program, created by Lufthansa Technik Puerto Rico (LTPR), a fully owned subsidiary of the Lufthansa Group’s Lufthansa Technik AG, the world-leading aviation industry MRO provider, has been developed in collaboration with the University of Puerto Rico (UPR) and the U.S. Department of Labor. Mr. Spohr announced the new program during his keynote speech at a Washington, D.C., International Aviation Club luncheon held today at the Mayflower Hotel.
“Lufthansa Technik Puerto Rico’s new aviation MRO apprenticeship program has been designed to replicate world-class, hands-on educational training programs that already exist in countries such as Germany and Switzerland,” said Carsten Spohr. “It’s an important development that serves as a role model for the U.S. aviation industry-at-large to prevent a gap in skilled labor required to enable a self-sustaining MRO industry in the United States. We are grateful to our partners who are making this breakthrough program a reality.”
The apprenticeship program will train Aeronautical Mechanics candidates who will undergo a three-year curriculum at the Aviation and Aeronautical Institute of Puerto Rico (AAIPR), an entity of UPR, the Puerto Rico Aviation Maintenance Institute (PRAMI), the Puerto Rico Department of Education and LTPR. It is the first federally registered apprenticeship program specializing in MRO in the nation, designed to benefit the U.S. aviation industry at-large.
“The Department of Labor will encourage and support programs aimed at developing our nation’s workforce, especially in areas that require highly technical, specialized skills,” said U.S. Secretary of Labor Alexander Acosta. “Employers and major corporations should play a key role in the U.S. economy by helping to provide highly-skilled training to ensure the American workforce has access to good, safe jobs and is globally competitive.”
In the apprenticeship program, students will experience a blend of theoretical and practical training in laboratories, as well as real production environments. The hands-on aspect is unique from other MRO education programs offered at A&P (Airframe and/or Powerplant) schools.
“With the U.S. being Lufthansa’s most important market outside Europe, our workforce here is a top priority,” continued Mr. Spohr. “Lufthansa Group is a long-standing corporate citizen of the United States that supports some 14,000 highly skilled employees. Investment in people is essential; workforce development is very worthwhile.”
The Lufthansa Group Forges Forward with “Hiring Our Heroes” Workforce Development Efforts
Today, Mr. Spohr also reaffirmed the Lufthansa Group’s commitment to “Hiring Our Heroes,” a program of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation to help veterans and their families find meaningful employment opportunities. For over a decade, Lufthansa has supported various initiatives of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation.
“Lufthansa is a stellar example of the role the private sector can play in transitioning retiring military and their families into careers suited to their backgrounds,” said Eric Eversole, President of Hiring Our Heroes. “These veterans possess the discipline, expertise and work ethic sought out by companies across all industries, as well as technical, mechanical, operational, managerial and strategic skills that apply well to aviation, as well as a host of other sectors.”
During his IAC remarks, Mr. Spohr proudly described The Lufthansa Group’s continued commitment to Hiring Our Heroes. “For Lufthansa Group, it is not enough to say we’re a good corporate citizen,” concluded Mr. Spohr. “Key to our efforts is the ability to participate in initiatives that enable our company – and very importantly our employees – to share our expertise in ways that make a difference in people’s lives and the communities we serve.”