New round of Airbus employees begin work

MOBILE, Ala. (WALA) – The first team of Airbus employees to work building aircraft at the Brookley Aeroplex facility is entering their first week on the job.

Many are from Mobile and Baldwin Counties, and you’ll hear them say the word “experience” very often.

OVERSEAS TRIP AHEAD

About a dozen new Airbus employees just started orientation Monday, August 4, but it won’t be long before they’ll be going to Germany.

Human Resources Director Jennifer Ogle said, “They spend a month in Mobile, and then they take off to Hamburg, and they’re there for six to nine months, depending upon their assignment.”

Thomas Archer went to B.C. Rain High School before joining the Marines. He hopes other graduates of the school will follow him in the aviation industry.

Archer said, “I worked on Harrier jets. I was an aviation electrician. That’s the reason why I’m very excited to work for Airbus. It has been a very good blessing, with B.C. Rain getting the new aviation training center.”

MILITARY SKILLS

Timothy Wallis of Daphne served in the Coast Guard and thinks his military experience was important.

Wallis said, “I’ve been working on aircraft for over eleven years, and I think the skills that I’ve learned from that background will transition well into this business.”

Arthur Balbastro of Mobile served in the Navy for twenty years and got experience installing electronics.

Balbastro said, “I think a lot of the background from the military, a lot of the training the military gives you, you can take over to the civilian sector.”

PRIOR AVIATION EXPERIENCE

But, it’s not just military experience. Some of the new hires have already worked in the aviation industry.

Michael Hopper said, “As far as my aviation background, it’s Mobile Aerospace, Northrop Grumman.”

Miranda Johnston worked at UTC Aerospace in Foley, but also took advantage of training at AIDT, the Alabama workforce development program.

Johnston said, “UTC really helped me out a lot with the aerospace and aircraft experience I needed and, then, from there, I had a little bit of training at AIDT through Airbus, the initial process of getting on here.”

WHAT’S AHEAD

As for the future, there’s a new job, and a trip to Germany to prepare for.

Johnston said, “I’m looking forward to experience the culture and new things, new opportunities.”

The Mobile plant will start building its first aircraft in 2015. The first jet is expected to be delivered in 2016.

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