AAR Adds Jobs, Commits to 20 More Years in Duluth

Updated: July 18, 2019 06:23 PM

DULUTH, Minn. - AAR says they are here to stay, and they signed a new lease and added more jobs to prove it. 

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In the hangar of the aviation company Thursday, the city of Duluth and AAR announced a new 20-year lease agreement and 40 new jobs. 

Nancy Norr, a Duluth Economic Development Authority board member, joked they were "renewing their vows." She said AAR was the "poster child of economic development" when they came in 2012. AAR's Regional Vice President Brian Loomer said his company has had plenty of support.

"The community in Duluth is amazing. Everywhere you go, everyone you talk to is just there to support you and help you grow the business," Loomer said. "So we're thrilled to death as AAR to build this business."

Currently, AAR employs about 340 people to repair and maintain planes for U-S and Canadian airlines. Some of them come through Lake Superior College, which partnered with AAR on the EAGLE Pathway program to put aircraft maintenance technician students in the hangar to explore job opportunities. 

"We see Duluth as the airport can definitely grow in aviation. And we've just got to find the people," Loomer said. 

He said when AAR gets people in, they will offer leadership training. 

"The ultimate thing we really want to do is we want to grow from within: take our talent that's currently on the floor and move them up the ranks so they get to be a lead mechanic, a supervisor, a manager, a director of maintenance, a VP of Operations," Loomer said.

And DEDA has committed to helping find those people by committing $50,000 to workforce development, which will come from the $420,000 a year generated through the lease agreement. In total, it's an $8.4 million deal over the 20 years.

Loomer said someday, AAR would love to add another hangar and even more jobs. But in the meantime, they have to hire for the 40 new ones now available. Applications can be found here.

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