In this three-part series, we take an in-depth look at an industry-wide labor shortage, how it affects our clients, and what we’re doing to keep everything moving. In case you missed it, you can read more about the technician shortage in Part 1 and the challenges of an aging fleet in Part 2.
Investing in Tomorrow’s Aviation Professionals
At Double M Aviation, we’re committed to finding unique and innovative ways to meet the needs of our clients and improve the industry at large. Sometimes this means thinking outside of the box and looking to the future to see what might be next. The truth is that most people in the aviation industry were not surprised by the current labor shortage we’re now facing. In fact, many of us saw it coming years in advance.
Enter Double M Foundation, a nonprofit subsidiary of Double M Aviation that we established in 2019. We created the Double M Foundation for a couple of reasons. First and foremost, we wanted to support local organizations like the Lakeland Aero Club, a local flying club that provides unique opportunities to students between the ages of 14 and 24 to participate in aviation-related activities, whether it’s flying, learning the ins and outs of aircraft maintenance or both. Flying clubs like the Lakeland Aero Club are on the front lines, so to speak, and play a valuable role in inspiring and mentoring the next generation of aviation enthusiasts.
The other reason we created the Double M Foundation: we wanted to bring more qualified professionals into the aviation maintenance industry. Our foundation provides funds to help local youth gain the skills they need to become certified technicians and pilots. We’re proud to say that we’ve raised more than $57,000 to date and funded 27 months of on-the-job-training.
In addition to supporting the Lakeland Aero Club, we also partner with local A&P schools to support them in increasing the number of A&P-certified technicians entering the field.
Recruiting and Retaining Top Staff
We understand that it’s not enough to help fund and support the next generation of aircraft technicians. We have to do what we can now to address the current shortage and provide our existing customers with the highest quality service possible.
That’s why, starting in 2022, we reallocated portions of our advertising budget to recruit top-tier talent to join our team. While the number of technicians we employ and our high number of IA-certified technicians give us a competitive advantage, we are continuously working to expand our staff to better serve our customers.
Many of our staff members have been with us for five years or more, and our trainers are highly experienced, passing their knowledge on to new technicians. Mike Naab, our founder and Director of Maintenance, has more than 25 years of experience, and many of our techs have ten or more years. This level of experience not only helps us provide better service, it gives our technicians a better workplace atmosphere.
In this incredibly competitive market, we are committed to retaining staff and making Double M Aviation a place where highly qualified technicians want to spend their careers. Although this can be challenging when major airlines are recruiting from the same pool of experts as we are, we remain committed to providing an exceptional workplace. We believe this benefits our company, our employees and their families, and our customers!
Adapting for a Strong Future
Aviation is our lifeblood, and we are dedicated to advancing the industry in every way that we can. Despite the current labor shortage, we are rising to the challenge. We’re investing in the future with educational initiatives and innovative recruitment strategies, and we’re fostering a positive workplace, which, in turn, helps us retain top talent and stand out in a very competitive market.
No matter the state of the industry, our primary goal remains the same: to deliver unparalleled service to our customers and drive the future of aviation maintenance.
If you haven’t read the other two articles in this blog series, we encourage you to do so by reading more about the technician shortage in Part 1 or the challenges of an aging fleet in Part 2. If you would like to schedule your annual inspection or make a maintenance appointment, fill out our reservation form or call us at 863-940-3450. Thank you!