by Heidi Riley
It is a common belief that working in aerospace requires special training, but the team at Standard Aero, located in Slemon Park in Summerside, want people to know that is not necessarily the case.
“We are hiring constantly right now, and we hire people of all ages and backgrounds with ranging skill sets,” says Scott Smallwood, Senior Production Manager, Component Repairs, at Standard Aero.
“We hire people who are transitioning out of other careers and may think that Aerospace is too technical for them. We bring them in and give them the opportunity to flourish in the same way as those just starting their careers.”
The company also offers opportunities for students and young graduates.
“My team is very good at bringing on new people and letting them get experience outside of school,” says Scott. “We have OJT and co-op students from Holland College and Three Oaks High School and other schools in the area. We also participate in Take Your Child to Work Day.”
During their work terms, students are exposed to about 12 different career paths in departments such as Machining and Aerospace Mechanics for two hours a day, Monday to Friday, for their two-month term.
“It is a great opportunity for young people to try different aspects of hands-on or administrative work. They could be placed in the refinishing department for two weeks, where they get to see what goes on there. Then they go on to machine shop and then to an inspection role to see what it is like to work with various measuring tools. All of this provides a wide experience of what we have to offer.”
Scott’s career path
In school, Scott took Autobody Mechanics and business studies. “When I came out of school, I realized that a job sitting at a desk was not for me. I wanted something hands-on and more technical. I liked seeing how mechanical things go together and how they come apart.
“I started in the automotive trade and quickly realized that I wanted the opportunity to move into something more technically challenging.” Scott started at the company as a Technician 26 years ago in 1997 and has worked in various roles on the shop floor. He transitioned into leadership roles about 15 years ago.
“I always had a love for airplanes and aerospace. Being able to translate my technical automotive skills to the aerospace sector was possible through on-the-job training. Because I was able to be part of the shop floor experience, working in a variety of positions, I learned all those techniques. I was always in learning mode.
“Working in Aerospace has afforded me the opportunity to travel the world, including South Africa and Australia.
“Continuous learning and growing is what Standard Aero can offer new employees coming into the business if they put their head down and express interest in changing careers. Patience is required, and will take some time, but they will get those opportunities. If you are intrigued by that type of workplace, we are a good spot to be.”
About Standard Aero
Standard Aero is a very large organization with locations all over the world. The Summerside maintenance and repair overhaul facility works on three different Pratt & Whitney engines. “We tear them down and rebuild them. Seventy percent of the rework done by the company is done right here in Summerside.
“We take about 1,000 parts a week to our machine shop and through multiple levels of very technical processes, such as thermal spray, plating, and complex machining processes. We do refinishing techniques that you don’t see anywhere else except for the aerospace industry.”
The Summerside plant has about 440 employees. Some job titles include:
- Engine Shop Technician
- Parts Cleaner
- Bench Operator
How to get a job at Standard Aero
Scott says a good way to find a job at Standard Aero is to be part of an OJT experience through high school or college, but there are other ways as well.
“We go to local technical schools and job fairs to encourage people who may never have considered a career with us because they think they don’t have the skills required to work in aerospace.
“For those out of school, don’t be scared to apply. We take people from many different career backgrounds. We welcome people who want a change from a Mechanic position, people from the fishing industry who may have worked on boat motors, or those with experience in farming and have worked on farm equipment and developed a mechanical aptitude.
“Many people have a mechanical background but don’t have the education in that field. If you can demonstrate that you have an aptitude, we are interested in you.”
FOR MORE INFORMATION
about Standard Aero and to apply, visit www.standardaero.com