GE Aviation Systems

03/23/2023 | News release | Distributed by Public on 03/23/2023 07:02

New GE Apprenticeship Program Seeks to Shape the Next Generation of Powerplant Technicians

When GE posted the application for the Powerplant Technician Apprentice Program, Krystal Widner knew this was meant for her.

"GE was a company that had my interest when I heard they were building a facility here. Unfortunately, I knew I was not qualified for a position due to the lack of having a powerplant license or experience," Widner said. "I was ready to find the next challenge in life, and the program opened up to give someone like me, with no license, the opportunity to experience and learn something of value and get my foot in the door."

As one of the first to take on this apprenticeship, Widner said that the program has been an incredible learning experience that has enhanced her knowledge of jet engines, shown her how to work effectively on teams, and pushed her to her fullest potential.

"One of the biggest things I have learned would be how far I can push my knowledge in the program. GE is a company that encourages their employees to continually grow and take ownership of projects, and it values opinions. I look forward to the future with GE and - in completion of the program - to obtaining a license that I would be able to carry to other facilities as well."


Krystal Widner working on an engine.

The pandemic and shifting work environments have changed how people prioritize their work needs, with 70% of employees saying they care more about flexibility, compensation, wellbeing support, and professional opportunities than they did three years ago. GE Aerospace hopes to provide potential employees with these qualities and more through a new, skill-based apprenticeship.

In 2018, GE Aerospace launched the new facility in Lafayette, Indiana, aiming to narrow the "skills gap" that many young Americans encounter when looking for manufacturing jobs. Now, the company's multi-year apprenticeship equips candidates with skills for success across the manufacturing and technician fields.

As the first program of its kind, the Lafayette Powerplant Technician Apprenticeship Program gives participants a hands-on aviation experience in a state-of-the-art work facility. Apprentices learn alongside skilled technicians and engine maintenance, repair and overhaul professionals while working through multiple job scopes, software and computer programs.

One of the most prominent job functions includes working on teams that support new jet engine assembly for the LEAP and Passport engines, as well as overhaul for the LEAP engine. Apprentices also get a firsthand look at how the company works to achieve better fuel efficiency and reduce CO2 emissions - with the goal of being a net-zero company by 2050.

Apprentices may continue their career with GE Aerospace after the program, but this is contingent on completing the FAA Repairman Certification and the FAA Powerplant Certification. As a world leader in the aviation industry, GE Aerospace thoroughly prepares apprentices as this immersive training program is designed to cover both certifications.


Krystal Widner at the GE Aerospace Lafayette site.

"I feel the program has helped, and will continue to help me grow in my knowledge of commercial jet engines, develop an understanding of the customer relationships, vendor relations, as well as interpersonal skills. Knowing that your voice can be heard in a team environment, and how everyone's opinion is always weighed out is a growth opportunity in itself," Widner said.

Under GE's team-based structure, apprentices work on multiple self-directed teams that strive to reach unified safety, quality, delivery and cost goals. Operating under the concepts of LEAN, the company commits itself to create a workplace with diverse backgrounds and perspectives that leave all employees feeling respected and supported.

To learn more about the Powerplant Technician Apprentice Program, as well as other open roles at the GE Aerospace facility in Lafayette, visit

All apprentices must have a minimum of three years of experience in manufacturing or mechanical experience, which includes vocational classes. Apprentices also must have either a high school diploma or GED.

GE Aerospace is thrilled to welcome the next generation of aviation professionals that will continue the company's innovative aviation technology. By training candidates with optimal skills, more and more people like Krystal can see their career take flight!

GE is an Equal Opportunity Employer. Employment decisions are made without regard to race, color, religion, national or ethnic origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, age, disability, protected veteran status or other characteristics protected by law.