Republic Airways Launches Maintenance Cadet Program to Fill Hundreds of Needed Technician Roles

Credit: Republic Airways

U.S. regional airline Republic Airways has launched a new maintenance career progression program that it is hoping will help it fill hundreds of needed maintenance technician positions over the next few years.

The RJet Maintenance Cadet Program will enable students in two- or four-year Airframe and Powerplant (A&P) programs to earn conditional job offers at the airline midway through their training. Students will be eligible to interview for the program upon taking and passing their FAA general exam at 400 hr. for their A&P certification.

Republic says that if the interview is successful, students will be invited to join the program, which offers several benefits in addition to the conditional job offer. These include opportunities to learn from Republic technicians throughout the experience, interview priority with Republic base management, priority selection of training class date and base location, and attendance at all-expenses-paid events at the airlines’ headquarters, training center and maintenance hangar in Indianapolis, Indiana.

The program is modeled after Republic’s RJet Pilot Cadet Program, which was established in 2015 and has matriculated approximately 700 student pilots into the airline so far.

“We know this model is successful for our pilot recruitment, allowing students to make an informed decision on their future career by having a job offer during their training and providing them opportunities to get to know our airline and people within it,” says Sarah Scheffel, manager of talent acquisition, Republic Airways. “I look forward to working with maintenance students to provide a similar experience and see similar success with this program.”

According to the airline, the RJet Maintenance Cadet Program will provide opportunity for a smooth transition from classroom to hangar as candidates learn from and engage with Republic technicians throughout the experience.

“Creating viable pathways for maintenance students to reach their career goals is the genesis of this program. We seek to hire the best technicians for each of our maintenance bases, and this cadet opportunity will help us do just that,” says Dale Cash, director of maintenance, Republic Airways. “For students who participate in the program, it helps keep them motivated and brings the goal of building a career in the airline industry closer.”

Cash notes that the program will also help the airline’s partner schools—which include Aviation Institute of Maintenance, National Aviation Academy, Purdue University and Vaughn College—attract future students.

Republic says it needs more than 500 aviation maintenance technicians within the next several years. The airline is trying to fill roles at its 11 maintenance base locations across the Midwest and northeast. It currently operates a fleet of more than 220 Embraer EMB 170 and 175 aircraft.

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, Aviation Week Marketplace and Inside MRO.