A partnership between M1 Support Services L.P. (M1) and Enterprise State Community College offers dual benefits through employment opportunities and unique training experiences.
“At Enterprise State, we strive to connect our students with career opportunities after they complete their degree or training with us,” ESCC’s Director of Workforce Development Leigh Shiver said. “We’re also dedicated to helping address workforce needs with our career and technical programs. M1 is a local leader in the aviation industry who has shown great support to our College and programs over the years, so we are honored to have this partnership with the company that allows us to do both.”
As a leader in the industry, M1 has provided insight into needed curriculum and training changes for aviation maintenance mechanics and avionics technician programs at the Alabama Aviation College, a unit of Enterprise State, through the company’s participation on the College’s Aviation Advisory Committee.
Additionally, M1 has donated training materials to the College for students to use as part of their technical training. In December 2021, M1, in collaboration with Fort Rucker and the Aviation Center Logistics Command, donated a TH-67 helicopter to AAC, which has been used for several classes in both the AMT and avionics programs. More classes are expected to use the training helicopter as part of the class curriculum.
“M1 worked with Fort Rucker’s Aviation Center Logistics Command (ACLC) to provide training aids; no longer in use by the military, but of benefit to training airframe mechanics and avionics technicians at the Alabama Aviation College,” Production Control Supervisor Todd Stephens said. “Recently, ACLC leadership approved M1 to take possession of a ‘cut-away’ TH-67 aircraft trainer. M1 coordinated delivery of the training aid to the Alabama Aviation College. The aircraft trainer benefits future M1 apprentices and demonstrates M1’s commitment to education and employment opportunities for the Wiregrass community.”
ESCC also provides support to M1 through the partnership. The College offers several training opportunities to current M1 employees to allow them to further their current skill set. ESCC offers a Precision Measurement class, a Principles of Troubleshooting class and a Leadership class for M1 employees.
“Through these certification programs, we’re able to help current M1 employees upskill, and we’re thankful to work with M1 to provide these training opportunities to their employees,” Shiver said.
“M1 is proud to have developed an industry/education partnership with ESCC,” Senior Director of Business Operations Brian Mueller said. “M1 conducted a skills needs assessment and with the assistance of the College, developed technical and leadership training relevant to Fort Rucker mission success.”
The two institutions also work together to help recruit future aviation maintenance workers through joint representation at career fairs and other recruitment events to connect with traditional and non-traditional students and share how the Alabama Aviation College’s programs can lead to high-wage, high demand careers locally in just two years.
These recruitment efforts also reach younger students as well. Most recently, M1 and ESCC/AAC representatives joined forces to talk about aviation programs and training during the Southeast AlabamaWorks World of Works events in Andalusia and Dothan held March 1-2 and March 9-10, respectively. During the event, both institutions connected with eighth graders and high school juniors and highlighted the availability of local aviation maintenance jobs. The event showcased the dual enrollment opportunities available to students who wished to begin training while in high school, allowing them to have access to jobs earlier and creating a workforce pipeline for the local aviation industry that starts at the high school level.
“Developing a pipeline of new talent reinforces M1’s workforce capabilities by attracting the best and brightest from the Wiregrass community,” Mueller said. “ESCC partners with M1 to prepare that talent for the many challenging and diverse careers at M1 (Fort Rucker).”
Through the workforce pipeline, M1 has access to highly trained students who are completing their degrees and technical training at AAC. Recently, M1 hired around 18 students in aviation maintenance and avionics technology to join their team.
“M1 is a people business,” M1 Vice President and General Manager Donald Galli said. “Developing Wiregrass talent is critical to satisfy our customer’s (Army Aviation) requirements. Technically proficient employees focused on delivering safe, reliable aircraft is M1’s competitive advantage.”
M1 Support Services and ESCC/AAC participated in the World of Works events in Dothan and Andalusia, working together to talk about the College’s aviation maintenance programs and the career pathways to M1. Pictured, left, is Kimari Jackson from Dothan Preparatory Academy. Pictured right, from back, are AAC AMT Instructor Greg Kent, ESCC Adult Education and Workforce Development Director Leigh Shiver and M1 Support Services Senior Director of Business Operations Brian Mueller.