Generations of aviation mechanics are coming together in Rome in a way that's bringing jobs to the area and keeping talented students in the Mohawk Valley. Our Sarah Blazonis reports.
ROME, N.Y. -- By the time these aircraft take off from Midair USA, they'll look and operate just like new even though they're not.
The facility specializes in making over planes to fit the needs of airlines looking to add to their fleet by leasing, an option made more attractive by a weak economy.
"The airlines are more apt to lease an airplane from us and have it in their configuration than they are to buy a new airplane from either Boeing or Airbus," said Midair USA President William Moore.
New seat coverings, remodeled interiors and routine maintenance are just some changes customers can request.
More of that work is being shifted to Upstate New York after local management made the request to Swiss parent company Midair SA, leading to a 200 employee growth spurt in the last year alone.
"Our focus is to bring as many jobs as possible to the area. In that light we're using local contractors for some of our work that we can't do in house," said General Manager Paul Staskowski.
Many of those who work at the Rome site are former graduates of the Riverside School of Aeronautics in Marcy, and they say they're excited to be bringing on board a whole new generation of certified mechanics.
"Those of us that get into aviation are into it because we love it. It's very addicting, and to be able to do it here at home is just fantastic," said Walt Constantini, director of MVCC's airframe and power plant program.
"Working with those employers, with the college to develop the type of skill sets that they're looking for is another way that we're enhancing economic development. We're giving employers directly what they want," said Oneida County Executive Anthony Picente.
Midair USA says there will likely be no shortage of opportunity anytime soon. They have work scheduled through 2015.