Aerospace and Defense Soars in Pinellas County
Aviation manufacturing demand is increasing, and Pinellas County is feeling the boom. Commercial airlines are ordering planes, parts, and training as travelers return to the skies. Some estimates expect air travel volume to grow by 20 to 40 percent in the second half of 2022. Militaries around the world are rebuilding after a lull.
Companies are hiring
Clearwater, Largo, and the surrounding area is home to 55 aerospace and defense manufacturers. International behemoths like Honeywell, Lockheed Martin, and Raytheon anchor many locally based manufacturers.
Shortage of skilled workers
Aerosonic Corporation manufactures aviation instruments and avionics equipment. Jabil, a producer of airplane parts, is one of the county’s largest employers. Most of these companies are actively hiring, but there is a shortage of skilled workers.
Local training available
Pinellas Technical College (PTC) is enrolling students for a training course to earn ACMA Advanced Composites Certification. The 600-hour course will be taught at the Clearwater Campus. The cost of the course is $1,752 for tuition plus an additional $673 (estimated) for books. Scholarships and financial aid are available.
EEI Manufacturing, a Clearwater-based manufacturer and service provider, offers training for 6 Instrument Proficiency Check (IPC) certification and endorsements. Individuals can take the course under the private pay option or companies can request customized and on-site classes.