Vero Beach, Fla.-based Piper Aircraft is returning to Wichita, Kan., Oct. 7 to recruit local talent. The Wichita region – which proclaims itself as the “Air Capital of the World” – has lost more than 30,000 aviation jobs since the beginning of the severe downturn in business aviation in 2008, making it a ripe field for talent recruitment.

Piper had its own round of furloughs in 2009 and 2010 as it right-sized production. But as things stabilized, the manufacturer visited Wichita in November 2010 to recruit workers.

This latest round of recruitment comes as Piper’s billings have been improving (up nearly 16% earlier this year), and the company has been expanding its international reach. The Piper M-class and trainer lines “are pacing very well right now,” says Executive Vice President Randy Groom.

Piper also has been focusing on production of its Altaire single-engine jet, which is scheduled for delivery in 2013. The company plans to freeze the design of the aircraft by yearend.

“Most of our open positions are for a variety of engineering disciplines, but we also have other positions that are available,” says Ellen Sobczak, Piper’s director of human resources. “We ask applicants to submit their resumes online at jobs@piper.com prior to being interviewed by the hiring managers who will be in Wichita.” —Benet J. Wilson (benet_wilson@aviationweek.com)