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San Joaquin Valley College Blog

Four Aviation Maintenance Technology students get the best Christmas present ever – a great job offer

December 21, 2015
Northrop Grumman recruiters at Fresno Aviation campus
Northrop Grumman recruiter talking to Aviation Maintenance Technology (AMT) students.

Three SJVC Fresno Aviation Maintenance Technology (AMT) students and one 2014 graduate will have just a little more to celebrate this holiday season after getting an invitation to go to work for Northrop Grumman, one of the biggest military aircraft companies around.

Every couple of months Northrop Grumman recruiters travel to the SJVC Fresno Aviation campus to interview well-trained AMT students about to graduate, in hopes of matching talent and skill with their company’s employment needs. Northrop Grumman is recruiting for Systems Mechanics, Electrical Technicians and those involved in building structural parts.

“Northrop Grumman is a huge international company that has over 200 openings at its Palmdale location where they’re building F-35 military fighter jets,” says Sue Montgomery, SJVC Director of Research and Development who also provides Career Services support to AMT students. “Northrop Grumman is to military aircraft like Boeing is to commercial aircraft.”

Sue works with AMT students to prepare them for these all-important interviews. “All of the students I pre-qualify for these positions have taken my class on how to interview,” says Sue. “They come in good-to-go.”

Their teamwork paid off when, within a week of the interviews, three students and one graduate were extended a job offer that included moving expenses and financial support for continuing education.

“They were good people to interview with, and I walked out feeling as though I did well,” says Greg Wenger, who spent the last year working for a manufacturer of commercial geosynchronous communication satellites in Palo Alto. “It was an opportunity to combine my education with work experience in a field that was perfect for this particular interview.”

Greg Wenger was included in Northrop Grumman’s recruiting process at the college after he called Sue recently, asking for job leads. His position had dissolved after a project slow-down. “A company that does a high dollar amount of business doesn’t necessarily make it a steady company,” says Greg. “When business slows down, employee lists shrink accordingly.”

“Northrop Grumman has a $55 billion dollar Defense Department contract with the Air Force to build the next generation of long-range strike bombers,” says Sue. “They also do maintenance on B2 stealth bombers, the plane that flies undetected by radar.” There is no slow-down in their near future.

Northrop Grumman has already hired seven AMT graduates this year and depends on SJVC’s AMT program to help them fill key spots. SJVC’s AMT students graduate with an Associate of Science degree and  are prepared to take the A&P license exam, which greatly increases their hireability.

Greg Wenger believes that Sue Montgomery is the one wearing the Santa suit – all year round. “Sue helped me get a position right after I graduated (2014). I don’t know that I would have had the same opportunities if it wasn’t for her. She has provided me with great opportunities along the way and is absolutely invaluable at this point.”

A very happy new year is ahead for several AMT program students, yet to follow.

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