Trends & Insights


April 23, 2024

Leading global aerospace firm, Ontic, whose Chatsworth, CA site employs over 400 people, successfully launched its first trainee program in February 2024. Taking on two trainee technicians with the aim of providing on the job training and education to grow the next generation of aerospace talent, the program has yielded fantastic results so far.

The innovative industry-college partnership offers young people who are looking to start college - or continue their education - an alternative route that enables them able to earn a salary while receiving full technical training and qualifications that will set them up with a strong foundation for their future careers.

Working closely with their in-house engineers and technicians, Ontic’s trainees learn avionics, testing and electronic skills while being supported with classroom learning at college. Tuition at Pierce College is entirely funded by Ontic and requires trainees to attend two class per week. Once completed, trainees will hold certificates in Electronic Engineering which they can use to obtain an AA degree and even progress to a bachelors degree if they choose to.

Through this program, Ontic are looking to invest in young peoples’ futures, molding them into tomorrow’s aerospace managers and leaders.

Speaking about the partnership, Gillian Skyers, HR Director at Ontic’s Chatsworth site, said: “As a business we pride ourselves on having the freedom to choose our own paths which is why coming up with a way of bringing new talent into the business while ensuring that they continue with their education was the perfect solution. It’s been great to partner with Pierce College to develop a training solution that meets the needs of young people today as well as our industry which has a well-known skills shortage.”

Farahnaz Nezhad, Associate Professor of Electronics at Pierce College, added: “Ontic and the Pierce College Electronics Program have had a partnership for less than a year, and already, we have seen the potential for a long-lasting, mutually beneficial relationship. This collaboration has yielded positive outcomes for both parties, as well as the trainees: Ontic has gained access to an early careers and internship pipeline, facilitating the recruitment of essential technical personnel; the Pierce College Electronics Program has experienced an increase in the enrollment of invested students, attributed to Ontic’s employees utilizing the company's generous education assistance program to enroll in various Pierce electronics classes; and Pierce College students have been given the opportunity to visit Ontic’s facilities, providing them with first-hand exposure to a professional electronics environment.

“This partnership stands as a testament to the value of collaboration between educational institutions and industry partners, fostering growth and development for all involved parties.”

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