Piper Now Accepting 2020 Apprenticeship Program Applications

Second apprenticeship class to begin work July 2020 in Vero Beach.

An apprentice works in the Piper factory.
An apprentice works in the Piper factory.Piper Aircraft

The application period for Piper Aircraft’s 2020 Apprenticeship Program is now open, with the company inviting students interested in a career in aircraft assembly to submit the required documentation for consideration. Students or a parent/guardian must live or work in the Florida counties of Indian River, St. Lucie or Brevard, with applications due no later than April 30, 2020.

The two-year apprentice program held at Piper Aircraft’s world headquarters in Vero Beach, Florida, is made possible through a partnership with Indian River State College (IRSC). Students who are accepted into the program receive a combination of on-the-job training as well as classroom instruction designed to qualify the participants as a Journeyman in Aircraft Assembly. Each apprentice is a paid employee of Piper Aircraft and receives a full benefits package.

“Piper’s continued growth in aircraft sales and order backlog has resulted in demand for well-trained, high-potential employees,” said president and CEO, Simon Caldecott. “This program will provide the necessary training, mentoring and support enabling apprentices to successfully pursue a long-term career with growth opportunity as a Piper employee. As we look forward to the future, deliveries of our value leading products are expected to continue to increase with deliveries of our robust primary aircraft trainers leading the way. The apprentice program will help ensure that Piper has a strong and agile workforce for the years to come.”

The successful program began in August 2019 and was created in response to the increasing demand for high-quality manufacturing candidates at Piper Aircraft. The first nine apprentices are currently completing their first semester of the program and are continuing to shadow skilled aircraft assembly workers and learn all aspects of fabrication and assembly of aircraft during the two-year initiative.

According to Piper, the “Aircraft Structure, Surfaces, Rigging, and Systems Assembler Apprenticeship Program” is designed to build careers for future leaders from the ground up. Participants start their careers at Piper as a full-time employee and learn the tools they need to succeed in their career. Along with on-the-job training, they learn classroom discipline with fully-paid college classes and develop workplace skills while gaining experience to become future leaders at Piper. At the end of the program, participants take an exam to become qualified with a Journeyman’s Certificate in Aircraft Structure, Surfaces, Rigging, and Systems Assembler to continue working as a skilled team member at Piper while learning more about the aviation industry.

“In partnership, IRSC and Piper are able to train and develop stronger leaders for the Piper workforce,” said Dr. Edwin Massey, IRSC president. “Piper provides apprenticeship program participants with hands-on skills, involvement in Piper’s culture, and firsthand experience in Piper’s manufacturing process. IRSC can distinguish and further advance apprentice talent as they earn industry credentials and move towards a degree.”

An informational session for prospective apprentices, parents/guardians, and significant others will be hosted by Piper Aircraft on Wednesday, January 15, 2020 at 6:00 pm at the Piper Aircraft factory in Vero Beach. The session will include a brief presentation and the opportunity to meet with current apprentices as well as program coordinators. Additionally, guidance will be provided on the application process and timing. To reserve a spot for the information session, e-mail apprentice@piper.com or call 772-299-2859.

Along with filling out the form on the Piper careers page, applicants must also submit a 350- to 500-word essay on why they want to participate in the program, and how will it benefit them personally. A high school transcript, resumé and two letters of recommendation from a guidance counselor, teacher or supervisor are also required. Applicants must be 18 or older by August 3, 2020, must have a high school diploma or GED and be eligible to work in the US, and must meet enrollment requirements for Indian River State College. The ability to speak, read, and write English fluently and be physically able to perform all essential functions of the job are also requirements.

The application can be found on the Piper website under the Careers tab. For questions regarding the program or to apply, send via email to: apprentice@piper.com. If mailing an application to Piper Aircraft, Inc., 2926 Piper Drive, Vero Beach, FL 32960 (Attn: Apprentice Program), the application must be received no later than 4:30 p.m. on April 30, 2020.