April 11, 2017 : By Drew Menard
Piedmont Airlines presented two Snap-on toolboxes, loaded with tools, to Liberty University School of Aeronautics last week as part of an initiative to help jumpstart the careers of students in Liberty’s Aviation Maintenance Technician Program (AMTP).
The stocked toolboxes, worth about $3,000 each, will be awarded to an AMTP student at the beginning of each academic year (tools are required supplies for the program). The winning student is also guaranteed an interview with Piedmont and, if hired for a position, will get to keep the tools.
“Piedmont Airlines is a wonderful partner in our professional pilot, maintenance, and flight attendant programs,” said Jim Molloy, dean of the School of Aeronautics. “The Snap-on Tools scholarship is a great example of how much they value our graduates and everything we are doing at Liberty University.”
Piedmont Airlines, Inc., a subsidiary of the American Airlines Group, is among a number of airlines that have hiring agreements with Liberty. Piedmont operates nearly 400 daily departures to more than 55 cities throughout the eastern United States and has ground handling crews in almost 80 airport locations across the country.
This is the first time Piedmont has offered the tools scholarship. It was started as a way to encourage more students to enter aviation maintenance technician programs like Liberty’s, which can be completed in one year and offers complete training for FAA licensure. Liberty’s program can also be taken as part of an Associate of Arts in Aviation Maintenance or Bachelor of Science degree in Aviation Maintenance Management.
The airline industry will need to fill over 600,000 aviation maintenance technician positions in the next 20 years, according to a report by Boeing.
Kevin Dallaire, a recruiter for Piedmont Airlines, said Liberty was chosen as the place to launch the scholarship because of the “confidence” Piedmont has in LU graduates.
“The caliber of students coming out of the program is outstanding,” Dallaire said. “Their work ethic is outstanding. It is almost a guarantee if a student comes out of Liberty that they are exactly the type of employee we are looking for.”
He said the program demonstrates the company’s commitment to investing in the future of industry professionals.
“People are concerned with, ‘Do I have a future?’ he said. “By offering this, we are saying, ‘You do have a future. There are companies out there that are looking at you.’ Not only are we saying, ‘We are willing to invest in these beginning stages in you and also help you carry through your education, but then if you come to work for us, here are these tools.’”
Snap-on also has a Student Excellence Program that gives students enrolled in any technical program, including Liberty’s AMTP, discounts on tools and boxes.
“Students get an opportunity to get their hands on quality tools, and they are receiving a quality education from Liberty, so it is a great partnership,” said Robbie Doyle, Snap-on Industrial and Education account manager for Southwest Virginia. “The students can hit the ground running from day one. (As a company), we are investing in the youth of America. We have dedicated ourselves to giving students a jumpstart in the industry.”