Aviation Pathways and Alaska Airlines Pave the Way for Veterans

A student from Aviation Pathways talks with an Alaska Airlines maintenance member while inside the wheel well of a Boeing 737

The Airframe & Powerplant Short-Term Certificate Program

Embarking on a new career journey after military service can be both thrilling and challenging. Fortunately, there’s a beacon of opportunity shining bright for transitioning, retiring military, and veterans with at least 18 months of prior experience in aircraft mechanics – Aviation Pathways. In collaboration with South Seattle College, the Thurston Chamber of Commerce, AJAC, and Pacific Mountain Workforce Development, this program is designed to be a bridge between military expertise and civilian aviation careers, offering a unique path to an FAA Mechanic Certification.

At the heart of Aviation Pathways lies the Airframe & Powerplant Seminar Short-term Certificate program. Tailored specifically for individuals with prior experience as aircraft mechanics and holding an FAA-approved 8610-2 form, this nine-week program is an intensive dive into a comprehensive curriculum. Participants engage in review sessions, gap training, and industry-specific preparation for FAA testing, all aimed at equipping them for future employment in aviation maintenance.

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Veterans Served

Support from Alaska Airlines

Adding an exciting dimension to the program is the generous support from Alaska Airlines. Alaska Airlines extends a warm welcome to transitioning service members by offering exclusive tours of their Sea-Tac maintenance facility each quarter. These tours provide more than just a glimpse into the inner workings of aviation maintenance – they offer invaluable insights into post-service employment opportunities.

The tours, designed to align seamlessly with Aviation Pathways’ mission of facilitating a smooth transition from military to civilian life, play a crucial role in offering participants an inside look at the industry. Attendees not only get to witness the day-to-day operations but also have the chance to network with industry professionals. This firsthand experience opens doors to a variety of career options within the aviation sector, helping attendees make informed decisions about their post-military paths.

For transitioning, retiring military, and veterans with a passion for aviation, this collaboration between education, industry, and support from Alaska Airlines is a clear signal that exciting and fulfilling career pathways await in the civilian aviation sector. 

Photos From Our Tour

Aviation Pathways Alaska Airlines Tour

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A&P Apprenticeship Lands in 2024

Over the next decade, nearly 13,000 aircraft and avionics equipment mechanics will be needed each year to fill the demand by our global economy. In collaboration with MRO’s locally in the Puget Sound region, AJAC will launch our first A&P Mechanic apprenticeship in Fall 2024. In the early years of AJAC, we developed an airframe apprenticeship program in partnership with Kenmore Air and Aviation Technical Services.

Since discontinuing the program in 2017, AJAC has worked closely with subject matter experts to expand the original apprenticeship to include powerplant competencies and classroom training. More information will be available regarding this new apprenticeship occupation in spring 2024.