Aerospace company receives vocational training funds

General Airframe Support received state funding to reimburse the salaries of up to 19 new recruits. The company built this hangar on West Challenger Street at Roswell Air Center in 2017. (Lisa Dunlap Photo)

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An aircraft teardown and parts salvage company received about $204,000 from the state to help pay the salaries of 19 other hires at Roswell Air Center.

General Airframe Support Inc. received a total award of $205,090 on Friday from the Board of Directors of the Job Training Incentive Program (JTIP) administered by the New Mexico Department of Economic Development. Of the total amount, $203,840 is intended to help the company cover the salaries of new hires as they are trained in their roles, with the remaining portion earmarked for audit costs.

Representatives from the Roswell-Chaves County Economic Development Corp. testified on behalf of the company and its application for funding.

GenAir Chairman and CEO Isaac Sheets said he was “excited about the future” after a difficult few years due to COVID-19-related business disruptions.

“I’m happy to be a local business keeping the funds here,” Sheets said.

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The company was founded in Arizona in 2013 and opened operations in Roswell in 2017. It now considers Roswell Air Center its primary base of operations, although it also continues to have operations in Marana, Arizona. . It built a new hangar on West Challenger Street in 2017 and created a ‘crunch’ pad in 2021 on Roswell Airfield for dismantling aircraft. The pad is operated by Custom Construction, Inc.

GenAir specializes in the crushing and dismantling of large commercial aircraft, then in the storage, repair and sale of parts. It holds accreditation from the Aviation Suppliers Association and the Aircraft Fleet Recycling Association, and Sheets said he continues to work to obtain the company’s Part 145 certification from the Federal Aviation Administration, which would also allow him to store aircraft.

Sheets said he expects to get certified this fall and be able to start flying by the end of the year. At some point in 2023, the company would also like to begin work to return the planes to service, he said.

The state funding, which Sheets says is largely a reapply for funding awarded in 2020 and 2021 that couldn’t be used, is expected to allow the company to hire up to 10 mechanics, five aviation inspectors and four technical sales representatives.

New mechanics and sales reps would receive about $14.40 an hour to start, Sheets said, but could receive raises of up to $5 an hour if they pass all skills tests. Inspectors would start at around $15.40, but Sheets said he plans to hire at least two licensed chief inspectors who will earn $20 an hour.

According to information from the State, the financing would make it possible to pay up to 800 hours of salary and training for mechanics and technical sales representatives and up to 960 hours for inspectors.

Sheets said he likes to promote from the inside and has hired about six mechanics who are studying for their airframe and power plant certifications at Eastern New Mexico University-Roswell.

Created by the New Mexico legislature in 1972, the job training incentive program reimburses employers 50% to 75% of wages for newly created jobs for up to six months. According to the New Mexico Department of Economic Development, the program has supported the creation of 47,000 jobs over the past 50 years.

Lisa Dunlap can be reached at 575-622-7710, ext. 351, or to [email protected]

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