What is the AST – Aero Skills Tournaments?
These trades tournaments, developed by ATG, are an amazing opportunity for raising awareness and planting seeds in potential technicians in their early years. The ASTs will create excitement, raise awareness & attract students to the aircraft college and trade schools, and renew interest in researching aero trades as a rewarding career. The industry is growing rapidly – the future is bright, however there is an issue of serious concern – the Skills Gap Crisis. Younger individuals are not being attracted to the trades in sufficient numbers to replace those techs retiring from the industry. Through open invitations to everyone including grade schools and other potential students to attend and observe the contests, these tournaments will be a catalyst to stimulate that much needed interest and lead to increased student enrollment. Our long-term strategy is to create a synergy and network across the world-wide industry through the AST program, creating other opportunities, efficiencies and reliabilities for everyone.
The tournament, for technicians, apprentices and journeypersons, will offer an opportunity to demonstrate their skills individually and against one another fabricating aircraft parts in a competition format. The event will bring together MROs, trades people, museums and other interested individuals along with representatives from colleges, trades schools as well as interested and invited public and students. Entrants will be competing on a level playing field with their own tools where the successful winner for each location will be awarded a trip to the National Finals. There they will compete head-to-head with the winners from the eight different regions for grand prize money in the thousands.
The AST – Aero Skills Tournament
The tournament competitor will make two trips to the designated college or school location over the course of the event week (Wednesday to Saturday for example) – the first visit is to sign-up and register and to fabricate their aircraft parts. The second visit is to assemble the parts on the build day in the timed competition (Saturday or Sunday).
We request the local technicians to attend so they too would compete in the final Build component on the Saturday or Sunday Final (creating a local hero and mentor possibly. If they are working away from where the tournament is and are traveling to the tournament site for weekend, they could register and fab early on the Saturday and build with everyone else for the Finals. Although it would be nice to have a local technician returning to compete, any extra arrangements are at the discretion of the college.
The National Competition
The National Competition Finals, the same three step format will be used. In this case, for the Finals, we will know who each of the winning competitors from each location are. The fabrication and preparation will be done the first day and the build competition will take place the scheduled day or evening – a competitive event format in an open to the public venue.