By Crystal Maguire, Executive Director
Last week, 177 educators, administrators, employers, recruiters, vendors and regulators descended on Seattle for the ATEC annual conference. Record attendance was a direct result of increased industry outreach (nearly 20% of attendees represented airlines, manufacturers or repair stations), and the impending, unprecedented demand for aviation maintenance technicians and mechanics. To help address talent needs, ATEC is focused on facilitating relationships between educators and employers. To that end, we incorporated an inaugural “employer expo” into the program; feedback on the event was nearly unanimous: the networking opportunity will be an invaluable resource for career pipeline development.
The fruitful conference followed a widely successful 2017 membership drive: despite a nearly 40% increase in annual member dues the trade association enjoyed a 90% renewal rate, picked up 12 new members in the first quarter, and is on track to boast its largest membership roll in more than a decade. In the last four years ATEC has doubled its operating budget and increased its contact base by nearly 500%. And last year the Board developed and adopted a strategic plan that will capitalize on recent growth and usher us into the next chapter as a financially sustainable and formidable leader in the aviation industry.
In response to ATEC’s growth and the increased need for industry engagement, last week the Board voted to change the number of industry member directorships (i.e., representatives of general aviation companies, business aviation companies, airlines, manufacturers and repair stations) from three to five. ATEC is also happy to announce the addition of two new directors: The Boeing Company’s Mike Walker and Purdue’s John Davis. Both directors bring invaluable experience and differing perspectives to the council’s governing body; we are thrilled to have their leadership these next four years.
If you attended the annual conference the action items below should look familiar. If you were not able to participate, we hope you will use the opportunities to get engaged. All members are also welcome to download conference materials and speaker presentations available at http://www.atec-amt.org/2017-annual-conference.html. We hope you will use this invaluable resource to reinforce industry priorities within your own organizations.
Thank you to everyone that made the annual conference a success. Enhancements to the 2018 program based on feedback received are already in the works. We look forward to seeing you at next year’s event in Washington DC (dates announced soon). Of course, if you can’t wait that long, registration information for the upcoming ATEC Washington Fly-in is below. The action-packed few days will be an experience you will not soon forget.