Collins Aerospace Partners with Schools As they Grow in York County
28 Nov 2023
York County is home to Collins Aerospace, a company with 80,000 employees across more than 250 offices and manufacturing plants worldwide. It is a global leader in aerospace technology, from autonomous operations to sustainable aircraft design.
“If it flies – commercially or for the military – we probably make a part in York that ends up on it,” says Douglas Rood, electronic components and controls CORE Sr. Manager at Collins. “Every time an airline or military service orders another jet, that’s another set of parts, plus after-market parts that go along with that.”
Airbus and Boeing, two of the largest manufacturers of airplanes in the world, are expected to produce nearly 18,066 large jet aircraft between 2022 and 2029. This production rate will keep the team at Collins busy and demand for employees high.
Collins Provides Training and Advancement Opportunities
As Collins grows, demand for machinists and other manufacturing professionals remains high. This company recruits candidates from across the country and brings them to York as a way to grow careers. Candidates have moved here from New York and California, along with new hires across the state of Nebraska.
“Collins Aerospace is a leader in the York business community and responsible for bringing dozens of workers to the area,” says Emily Perry, Development Coordinator for the York County Development Corporation (YCDC). “But you can’t overlook its efforts to hire local employees and grow their skills.”
One of the main benefits of working for Collins is the opportunity for career growth. Employees can start working immediately on a few key machines but then build on their abilities over time. The more skills they develop, the higher their earning potential.
Rood says that if someone is willing to learn and work hard, it doesn’t matter where they come from. They have a place at Collins and workforce training opportunities in York.
Collins Invests in York Students With STEM Programs
Collins’ York location relies on dedicated teams of machinists, technicians, and assemblers who produce crucial parts for aircraft around the world. Many of these jobs only require a high school diploma to start and the company has dedicated training programs to prepare its newest team members to succeed. Collins is also working with Southeast Community College to develop an apprenticeship program specifically for high school juniors and seniors to develop key skills that they can immediately apply once they graduate.
“Collins is actively preparing the next generation to become engineers and designers of critical aerospace parts,” says Perry. “These programs help students learn what it means to be an engineer and show them how this field is a viable career path in York.”
Through his time at Collins, Rood has focused on non-profit giving and volunteering to better involve the company in the York community. He applied for – and won – a grant that sets up a STEM program for seventh- and eighth-graders. Rood sees this as a 10-year dividend. The students still have two years of middle school, four years of high school, and potentially four years of college, but by investing in their STEM education now, Rood establishes Collins as a quality choice for employment. That’s what long-term workforce development looks like.
Collins and YCDC Are Aligned In Their Goals
Collins manages decade-long contracts and multi-year work orders. Its engineers are constantly developing more efficient products that improve airplanes. By focusing on teens and young adults in the local community, this company increases its chances of hiring quality employees who are ready to work. It secures its future by investing in students today.
“Graduates can work for Collins or any manufacturing company in York County,” says Perry. “They are better prepared to enter the workforce and thrive at other manufacturing companies in the area.”
The manufacturing sector continues to be a strong part of the York economy. With the help of Collins and YCDC, York also has the potential to become an engineering and technology hub within Nebraska.
Learn more about the York County Development Corporation and why manufacturing firms and other global enterprises choose this region.