Allan McArtor

Chairman, Airbus Americas

Training is a very big deal. Alabama has a very aggressive — as a lot of states do — training capability who will train our workers on how to do the core skills for us. Then, we train them on the job to do it. But that’s to train the initial worker. [But also,] the recurrent training of a worker is extremely important because as we introduce these new technologies, the guy that’s been there or the lady that’s been there working for seven or eight years has to be trained again. So literally, every year or every two years, you’ve got to have recurrent training to make sure that they’re all up to speed.

I think we always talk about attitude and aptitude. You need both. You want somebody who will really enjoy doing what they do and then be willing to be trained. If you’re 58 years old, you can be trained just fine. We find a lot of people coming — I call them auto to aero. We have people coming out of the automobile industry who all have all the requisite skills to work in the aviation industry but are not yet qualified in that area. They can get cross-trained in that; the same thing with manufacturers, by the way. So if they enjoy the industry and take pride in it, I think the industry has open arms for them.