Duluth repair base seeks more mechanics

  • Article by: DAVID PHELPS , Star Tribune
  • Updated: January 21, 2013 - 11:55 AM

AAR Corp. will hold a job fair in Bloomington for 70 positions at its Airbus plant.

AAR Corp., the aircraft maintenance operation that recently opened a repair facility in Duluth, is bringing its search for certified airline mechanics to the Twin Cities.

The Illinois company said Friday it will conduct a one-day job fair in Bloomington next Wednesday for 70 open positions at its Duluth plant.

"We're taking a deeper dive across the state to find people with the requisite skills and aptitude to fill these highly skilled positions," said Dany Kleiman, AAR's vice president for repair and engineering in a statement Friday. "Careers in aviation are critical to supporting our regional, national and global economy, as well as air travel in the U.S. and abroad."

AAR has a contract with Air Canada to service its 89-plane Airbus fleet at the Duluth facility. The Duluth center opened its first line in November and finished maintenance work on its first aircraft in mid-December.

Greg Dellinger, AAR's director of recruiting, said the company is working with the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development in conducting the job search.

"These are good jobs with a good company with solid wages," Dellinger said in an interview.

The jobs, which include avionics as well as sheet-metal positions, pay up to $25 an hour with the potential for signing bonuses based on skills and experience.

AAR currently has filled more than 100 positions at the Duluth facility, which is located on the property of Duluth International Airport. The workforce eventually could reach 225 mechanics working on four maintenance lines.

The 188,000-square-foot hangar was built in the 1990s for Northwest Airlines to service its Airbus fleet. Northwest closed the facility in 2005 in the midst of a mechanics strike and merged with Delta Air Lines in 2008.

AAR said it "is particularly interested" in hiring military veterans, which make up 20 percent of its workforce.

The Thursday job fair will be held in Bloomington at the Mall of America Radisson Hotel at 1700 American Blvd. It will run from 1 to 7 p.m.

David Phelps • 612-673-7269

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