“Our initial cadre was mostly not from this region. We needed to have a more experienced workforce than the folks who were in the region allowed us to have,” said David Trent, site director of the facility.
“However, that quickly changed. Over the past five years or so, we’ve been able to hire almost exclusively from the region, or hire folks who are originally from the region coming back home,” he said.
The facility, which recently celebrated a decade of operation in Mobile, has a low attrition rate, he added.
“We know if we give our employees good work to do and a good place to do it, they seem to be quite loyal,” he said.
In addition to supporting Airbus’ global operations and regularly interacting with colleagues in France and Germany, the facility’s employees volunteer their time and share their expertise at a nearby elementary school, middle school and high school.
“We’ve really taken a generational approach to transforming a community and its capabilities in engineering, avionics and aviation technology,” Trent said. “We’ve adopted these schools, and a lot of our employees are very much engaged in these activities.
“I think that’s something that keeps them here as well. It really resonates with them.”
At the elementary level, Airbus employees are involved in a Reading Buddies program with students. And at the middle school, the focus is on the Airbus Flying Challenge, a STEM and citizenship-mentoring program that rewards participating students with a flight on a single engine airplane.
“The message is, when you stay in school, get good grades and stick with it, you have good options in life,” Trent said.
At the high school, employees mentor students and help them with classroom presentations. They’re also involved in other programs where students take special courses that will put them on an engineering or technician career track.
Airbus is involved in supporting scholarships and…