As a new year begins and we get closer to our 2015 Maintenance Skills competition, I thought this would be a good time to update everyone on where we are and what has been happening. I’m regularly getting calls and emails asking for information and AskBob is a great place to reach so many maintenance professionals at one time. But if you still need more information or have questions I haven’t answered, please keep those calls and emails coming! Ken MacTiernan, Todd Curtis and myself are the competition’s organizers.
As many of you know, the competition is being held in 2015 at the Miami Beach Convention Center from April 14-16 in conjunction with AvWeek’s annual MRO Americas Conference. The MRO Conference is attended by more than 10,000 people annually, from every sector of the maintenance industry. Our hope was that by co-locating the skills competition we would spur even greater interest in participating. We believe that hope is being realized with the increased number of teams participating from a wide-swath of our community, both domestic and foreign. (For those of you who are not familiar with the skills competition, it is the premier venue for maintenance professionals to demonstrate their skills in various technical areas. The Aerospace Maintenance Competition website can fill you in on all the details. http://www.aerospacemaintenancecompetition.com/general-information/about/.)
Team registration is still open; however, to date, we’ve received registrations or commitments from 42 teams from across the country and around the world. We have teams registered from major corporations, including manufacturers, repair stations, and airlines, as well as teams from smaller companies and aviation colleges. We even have Aviation High School in New York City sending a team. (We also are working on having local Miami high school students interested in a career in aviation maintenance attend as observers.)
We are particularly excited about the number of colleges participating because we know that these young people are the future of aviation maintenance. Right now, predictions for mechanic shortages are real and growing. Unless we can get more students into the aviation maintenance field we will be unable to properly fill these looming shortages with the best and most qualified mechanics. We believe that the Skills Competition – especially at an exciting venue like the MRO Americas Conference – will create enthusiasm for our profession. It’s also a great opportunity for networking and seeing what job opportunities exist in various segments of the industry.
Many of you have also asked whether sponsorships are still available so that you can be a part of what we anticipate will be a great show. And they are. We have all price ranges for all sizes of companies. Email me at [email protected] and we will find a sponsorship that meets your needs.
Finally, we are working on some exciting new exhibits. The details are not yet finalized so we don’t want to reveal too much too soon. But as soon as the logistics are ironed out, we will announce those new exhibits. Stay tuned to this space for more information as the time draws closer.