FEAM, Epic Flight Academy Partner on MRO Workforce Program

Credit: Epic Flight Academy

FEAM has joined forces with Epic Flight Academy to support aviation maintenance students financially while they pursue MRO careers. The partners have launched a workforce pipeline program which will provide tuition assistance and a direct pathway to employment at FEAM.

According to Cam Murphy, president of FEAM, the partnership is its first formalized pathway program with tuition aid at an A&P school, although the independent MRO already has scholarship and mentorship programs in place at other schools throughout the U.S.

FEAM has been trying to grow its workforce to meet increased demand as it expands worldwide. It recently opened several new line stations in the U.S. and expanded to Europe in late 2021 with the purchase of UK-based BOSA. Last month it established two new line stations in the UK.

“We're experiencing exponential demand to fill open technical positions throughout our organization,” says Murphy. “Most of the demand is due to a combination of our growth, the demand e-commerce is placing on the air cargo market and an aging workforce.”

Based in New Smyrna Beach, Florida, Epic Flight Academy has also been growing its aircraft mechanic program since it was launched in October 2020. The 24-month program has classes starting three times a year in winter, spring and fall. Students train on Epic’s fleet, which includes Cessna, Piper and Beechcraft aircraft, as well as three donated Bell helicopters.

According to Epic Flight Academy, the partnership with FEAM will give students firsthand experience working on Airbus and Boeing Aircraft. Students enrolled in the program will have the opportunity to work as an apprentice at FEAM’s Miami location. They will also receive $7,500 in tuition assistance from the MRO the first year and an additional $7,500 the second year. Students accepted into the program will interview with FEAM and receive a conditional letter of hire, and the MRO says participants have the opportunity to work with the company for three years, or longer if desired.

“We are extremely excited about this partnership with FEAM. They have been supporting airline cargo companies for 30 years and offer multiple locations for students to choose from,” says Danny Perna, CEO of Epic Flight Academy. “FEAM provides experience on a wide range of heavy aircraft. This type of experience opens so many doors faster because students are working on such a wide range of aircraft at an early stage.”

Murphy also stresses the importance of partnerships with A&P schools. “Initiatives like these directly help FEAM in controlling our destiny to combat attrition and the current labor shortage,” he says. “I expect to see more partnerships like this in the MRO industry. We all have to work together to create awareness and inspire the next generation of aviators.”

Lindsay Bjerregaard

Lindsay Bjerregaard is managing editor for Aviation Week’s MRO portfolio. Her coverage focuses on MRO technology, workforce, and product and service news for AviationWeek.com, Aviation Week Marketplace and Inside MRO.