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West Star Aviation Academy Announces 2nd Cohort of New Apprentices

West Star is pleased to announce the approval of the next 25 apprentices selected for their new West Star Aviation Academy (WSAA) at their east Alton, IL (ALN) facility.

WSAA was opened earlier this year in collaboration with Southwestern Illinois College (SWIC), as an initiative that aims to address the ongoing shortage of aircraft maintenance technicians, which has continuously been a challenge for the industry.

WSAA is located onsite and consists of a dedicated classroom along with a learning hangar. Apprentices have hands-on training, working with standard tools and other components including a Falcon aircraft, while simultaneously using WSAA branded versions of Corridor and other operational forms and procedures to better connect what they are learning with on-the-job experiences.

“Since its inception, WSAA has received a tremendous amount of recognition, reaffirming West Star’s position as a leader in the industry by offering this program and aiding in the industry’s work shortage,” said Allen McReynolds, COO.

Our first cohort of 25 apprentices are doing exceptionally well and will be graduating in August. These apprentices will start testing while completing four weeks of specific job training. By mid-September, the first cohort of graduates will begin working at West Star within the Falcon, Bombardier and Gulfstream program(s).

The second cohort will begin immediately after the graduation of the first cohort in late August. Recruiting for apprentices will continue for each upcoming session. The academy is looking for mechanically inclined people with the right attitude to gain the skills, education and license required to become an Aircraft Maintenance Technician. Interested people can find out more details at

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Mark White

RSM, California

Dave Godo

RSM, Ohio Valley

Mark Daniels
Tim Cane
Robbie Johnson

RSM, Mid Atlantic

Santiago Carol

RSM, Latin America

Steve Fleeman

RSM, Landing Gear

Contact Us

WSAA will be piloted at the East Alton, IL facility with the first round of apprentices anticipated to start in August 2024. For more information on West Star Aviation employment or WSAA apprentice selection criteria, please visit or contact Katie Johnson ( or Dave Lagermann (

Application & Selection Process

Before applying, please be aware of the standards of conduct for employment with West Star along with the strict requirements below while attending WSAA.

  • Working in Aviation requires a commit to being drug-free.  Pre-employment drug testing along with random and reasonable suspicion testing is required for all companies employing people working in safety sensitive positions. The position you are considering applying for is safety sensitive.  If hired, you must pass a DOT drug test to start working, if you fail the job offer is rescinded.  If you pass, you must remain drug-free during employment, failing a random or reasonable suspicion test may result in termination of employment.  Please note: marijuana is legal in certain states however the FAA follows Federal law where marijuana is illegal.  This means testing positive for marijuana, or any other illegal drug, will prevent you from working in Aviation. 
  • The first 7.5 months will follow a strict schedule: Monday – Friday 7:00am – 3:30pm (breaks and meal periods provided). 
  • The expectation is to arrive inside the learning center and clocked in at 7:00am.
  • While attending WSAA, no more than 4 hours a week can be missed.  Extenuating medical circumstances will be given full consideration with supporting documentation.
  • WSAA follows an FAA approved curriculum which has certain requirements including attendance. 
  • Testing for the FAA license at the conclusion of WSAA is required, along with passing.  Two opportunities to test will be provided, if needed.  Employment may terminate if the FAA license is not obtained.
  • Candidates will be contacted to complete pre-screening assessments and questionnaires. 
  • Qualified candidates will be contacted in late November and scheduled for a tour and interview with Hiring Managers at West Star Aviation in East Alton, IL.
  • To be qualified, candidates must pass the pre-screening process along with submitting a negative DOT drug test result.
  • Finalists will be selected after onsite interviews. Job offers will be extended in mid-December with a start date of January 9, 2024.
  • Pay while learning in the Academy will be $20 per hour.  Upon successfully graduating and obtaining your FAA license, pay will increase to $27 per hour.