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Lufthansa Technik Puerto Rico recruits UPR Aguadilla students

The talent acquisition and development team at Lufthansa Technik Puerto Rico (LTPR) has recruited five students from the University of Puerto Rico (UPR), Aguadilla Campus’ Aeronautical and Aerospace Technology program as aviation mechanic apprentices. 

The interviews were conducted at the facilities of the Puerto Rico Aeronautical and Aerospace Institute (AAIPR, in Spanish), which is affiliated with the UPR.

The UPR’s Aguadilla campus offers an associate’s degree in Aeronautical and Aerospace Technology and provides hands-on lab experience at the AAIPR. The program prepares students and alumni to meet the LTPR’s workforce criteria, with evaluation sessions held every three months.

“This program provides students with the skills and tools needed in the field of aeronautics and aerospace to become aviation mechanic assistants and advance to other opportunities,” said UPR Aguadilla Chancellor Sonia Rivera-González. “We have been in contact with the Lufthansa Technik staff to understand their needs and ensure they are covered as part of our academic and practical program.”

This opportunity enables students to apply their technical knowledge and begin careers with an international company, the only aircraft maintenance, repair and overhaul facility on the island.

“We practice with the Cessna, which is a small plane. We disassemble the engine, work with the engine oil and filter system, change tires, and the hydraulic system. In the labs, we learn about electrical wiring and turbines, riveting, cutting plates, measuring, and drilling,” explained José Orcina, a UPR Aguadilla student. 

Before interviewing students, Lufthansa Technik staff gave a presentation about the company’s history since its 2014 inception in Puerto Rico and the benefits it provides employees. The candidates were then evaluated for selection.

“Once they pass the main training, they start as entry-level mechanic trainees, during which time their skills in the field are validated, and they have the opportunity to advance to becoming a mechanic, and eventually to senior mechanic and inspector” positions, said Howard Ayala from Lufthansa Technik Puerto Rico’s Training and Development Division.

Lufthansa Technik instructor Delvis Collazo noted, “It’s not just a job, it’s a career and a life opportunity. Like you, I sat there as a student at the institute and was one of the four selected my year [2014], and today I have progressed, from engine mechanic to team leader, quality inspector, and now I am one of the instructors.”

Employee benefits include “medical plans and life insurance, financial support for continuing graduate studies related to the career, discounts at airlines and car rentals, among others,” said Desireé Márquez, a specialist in Talent Acquisition and Development at Lufthansa Technik Puerto Rico. “In addition to a retirement plan and compensatory time for community activities, they provide all the necessary tools for daily use and much more.” 

The Lufthansa Technik Puerto Rico facilities, which opened in 2015, now employ 400 individuals of various nationalities, including Filipinos, Germans, Bulgarians and Americans.

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