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San Joaquin Valley College Blog

SkyWest Airlines and SJVC Relaunch Apprenticeship Program

June 23, 2021

For years the Fresno Aviation campus at SJVC (now Fresno – Trades Education Center) partnered with SkyWest Airlines to form an apprenticeship program that prepared students for coveted mechanic positions on SkyWest’s aircraft maintenance team. The program was temporarily put on hold due to COVID-19, but we’re pleased to announce its relaunch for SJVC’s Aviation Maintenance Technology (AMT) students working towards their Airframe and Powerplant (A&P) license.


The SkyWest Maintenance Apprentice Program offers exceptional aviation mechanic students an opportunity to get a head start on their career as part of the SkyWest Airlines team. Some benefits for participants of the program include opportunities to receive hands-on experience, facility tours, job shadowing, and special training. Participants will also have the option of receiving mentorship from one of SkyWest’s mechanic advisors who can help guide them on a path to professional success.


“We are excited to continue offering the SkyWest Maintenance Apprentice Program for AMT students as part of our continued partnership with SkyWest Airlines,” said Sue Montgomery, Director of Institutional Partnerships at the Fresno – Trades Education Center. “This program gives our students a unique advantage when applying for highly-desired employment positions.”


SJVC and SkyWest have worked together for more than 23 years, and every graduating class has seen some of their best and brightest become part of the expansive SkyWest team of aviation mechanics.


“The SkyWest Maintenance Apprentice Program provides a jump-start for aspiring mechanics at SJVC,” says Mallory Roberts, Pipeline Partnership Specialist at SkyWest Airlines. “SJVC’s reputation for producing qualified mechanics made our decision to partner on the Apprentice Program an easy one. We’re pleased to provide a career path to SkyWest for SJVC students.”


One of the greatest advantages to the partnership is an employment edge. SkyWest’s training program generally takes 18 months for recruits to obtain a Level 3 competency status. The Apprentice Program reduces a portion of this timeline, which means that as the maintenance technician advances faster, the salary can also increase at a much faster rate.


“By partnering with SkyWest, SJVC mechanics benefit from mentorship, hands-on experience, and a direct pathway to a career in commercial aviation,” added Mallory. “In turn, SkyWest is recruiting qualified mechanics to join our growing maintenance team.”


SkyWest has prerequisites for students who wish to participate in the Apprentice Program and have filled out an application. A candidate must be attending SJVC and in good standing, but unlike an internship, the Apprentice Program allows students to remain at SJVC to complete training until they are able to gain their A&P license.


The key to career success for any Aviation Maintenance Technology graduate is earning the A&P license. “Most of our students take the tests right after graduation,” says Sue. “This is a Federal Aviation Administration license that allows you to work on anything that flies. You can’t work on any commercial aircraft without it, so if you want to work in the airline industry, you need to have it.”


SJVC’s Aviation students and graduates who participate in the SkyWest Apprentice Program have the potential to enjoy a bright career outcome. “Our students are so excited,” says Sue. “We were the first in SkyWest’s plan to integrate training programs specific to their maintenance crew needs. SJVC was the ideal educational partner to help them launch this program.”


With a fleet of more than 450 aircraft, SkyWest Airlines connects passengers to 239 destinations throughout North America. SkyWest operates through partnerships with United Airlines, Delta Air Lines, American Airlines and Alaska Airlines, which together transported more than 43 million passengers in 2019. Ground maintenance crews maintain a growing fleet of CRJ200, CRJ700, CRJ900 and E175 aircraft at dozens of SkyWest locations across the United States.


SkyWest and SJVC will be hosting an Open House on Wednesday, June 30th from 6-8pm at the SJVC Fresno – Trades Education Center, located at 4985 East Andersen Avenue, Fresno, CA 93727.


Make sure to stop by and learn more about SkyWest’s Maintenance Apprentice Program, including employment opportunities and more information on SkyWest’s pay and benefit packages.


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