Aviation Institute of Maintenance Chicago Campus Celebrates Inaugural Graduating Class

Aviation Institute of Maintenance (AIM) hosted the graduation of its first class of students at its South Ashland Avenue campus. Twenty-four graduates were honored during the ceremony, marking an important milestone in their aviation journey. Over 21 months, these students completed AIM’s training program, equipping them with the skills and knowledge to begin a career in the aviation industry. 

Last year, AIM and American Airlines announced an innovative partnership to train and hire the next generation of aviation maintenance technicians. Top candidates from AIM’s Chicago campus, including today’s graduates, are guaranteed interviews with American upon graduation, and students have access to the airline’s team of aviation maintenance professionals and maintenance facilities through engagement opportunities while enrolled at AIM. Aviation maintenance technicians from American also mentored the student team from AIM Chicago for the 2023 Aerospace Maintenance Competition, where the team placed first in a student team event. 

“The relationship that AIM has built with American Airlines is incredibly important to our students and the community of Chicago,” said Dr. Joel English, Executive VP of the institution. “American has donated aircraft engines, tools and technologies, and countless hours of time spent with our students. Now that our first graduates are becoming certified and ready for employment, we are thrilled to be able to provide American with certified technicians to join their workforce.”

Continuing to build upon this partnership, AIM unveiled an American Airlines-branded classroom during the recent graduation ceremony. The classroom will serve as a hub for hands-on training and practical experience, further enhancing the educational opportunities available to AIM students. 

“American is thrilled for AIM’s first class of graduates who not only completed some of the most robust and meticulous aviation maintenance training, but also partnered with American’s maintenance experts for additional practical training and mentoring,” said Evie Garces, Vice President of Line Maintenance at American Airlines. “Today is only the beginning, though. We look forward to seeing these remarkable graduates — the next generation of aviation maintenance professionals — at the interview table, and eventually in our hangars.”

The ceremony and classroom unveiling are significant landmarks for AIM’s Chicago campus. As the first graduating class, these students have paved the way for future generations of aviation professionals in the region. AIM is committed to providing education and training to aspiring aviation professionals and helping to bridge the gap between the growing demand for professionals in the field and the available workforce.