Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University - Worldwide is implementing a new workforce development initiative to connect transitioning U.S. military personnel, veterans and military spouses to hiring partners this August on Marine Corps Air Station New River.

“The unique thing about this is that it is the first and only program in the country of this kind and we are fortunate to have it here,” said Ricky Cannon, campus director for Embry-Riddle Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune. “Make no mistake that this is not just a class it is a skillbridge program which helps transitioning Marines within 180 of transitioning out of the Marines into exciting jobs with our aviation hiring partners Pratt & Whitney & AAR.”

Skillbridge programs provide a bridge between the USMC and the next career Marines will enter. Companies provide training in hopes to hire service members into global organizations.

The Aviation Maintenance Technology program is a nine-week, full-time program designed to train and place transitioning service members, honorably-discharged veterans and eligible military spouses into aviation maintenance and technician careers with reputable aerospace industry partners who are committed to hiring them.

“The education that they receive from Embry-Riddle will prepare them for their A&P Part 65 certification and they will receive 18 credits of college for the nine week program,” Cannon said. “That’s the equivalent of having a Bachelor’s Degree in the aeronautics field. If these people went to a community college for a program like this it would take them six months or more to learn the same amount. We give it to them in nine weeks. It’s like drinking from a fire hose.”

Applicants are not required to have an aviation maintenance background, but a mechanical aptitude is required. Since the training classroom is the duty location for active service members, full-time attendance is mandatory.

“We have a Motor Transport and an embarker registered right now, which is fortunate for them because they are interested in the aeronautics field.”

The program is currently open to military service members who are within six months of separation or retirement, as well as recently transitioned veterans with an honorable discharge and military spouses. Program attendees must meet eligibility requirements and be willing to relocate to industry partner hiring locations.