National Apprenticeship Week: Q&A with Yvonne Williams

We sat down with Yvonne, otherwise known as Curly, a proud Aviation Maintenance Technician (AMT) apprentice at LIFT. As we celebrate National Apprenticeship Week, we are excited to showcase one of our exceptional apprentices who is on the path to becoming an AMT for either Republic Airways or LIFT Academy.

Question: Hi Yvonne. Thank you for sitting down with us today and for your work as an apprentice. Could you tell us what you were doing prior to joining the AMT Apprenticeship? 

Yvonne: I am originally from North Carolina and moved to Indiana a little over a year ago now to join AMT Apprenticeship Program at LIFT. I have held a wide variety of jobs prior to coming to LIFT, including with a manager position at McDonalds, a Starbucks barista, and an Assistant Manager at Rue21. 

Question: That is a diverse resume! You really have done it all. Have you always wanted to work in a technical field? 

Yvonne: Not in the slightest. I never would have thought I’d be working as an apprentice for a flight school. When I first started pursuing aviation, I wanted to be a pilot. I later discovered that I wanted to learn the mechanics of aviation before I could feel comfortable flying an aircraft. From there, I was sold on aviation maintenance.  

Question: How incredible that you were able to discover your passion for aviation through pursuing a pilot career. What specifically drew you to the AMT Apprenticeship at LIFT Academy? 

Yvonne: In doing my research to find the best program for my needs, I found LIFT Academy. When I talked to some of the amazing mechanics at LIFT along with the hiring manager, I discovered this would be a more hands-on approach into the depths of aviation maintenance than other programs I had researched. I loved the experiential learning aspect at LIFT which is what really sold me on the program. 

Question: We are so glad to hear that you landed at the program for you. When you first started, did you have any expectations about LIFT Academy or Republic Airways that turned out different than you imagined?  

Yvonne: To be completely candid, I had never heard of the Republic Airways, let alone the flight school LIFT Academy. However, working as a part of both companies has led me to wonderful opportunities such as newfound relationships and a consistent work environment which have been hard to find in the past.  

Question: It sounds like the program really exceeded any expectations you could have. As far as challenges you’ve faced, what have been the most difficult parts of the program for you so far? How have you been helped through them? 

Yvonne: That’s a great question. I am grateful for my mentors and coworkers who have helped me through many struggles within the field. Being a woman in the aviation industry has its challenges, even more so when you pursue a male-dominated career path like aviation maintenance. My peers, mentors and fellow maintenance professionals have pushed me to believe that I can do just the same as the men within the field. The support I receive from everyone at LIFT is what makes the job easier. 

Question: The mentorship at LIFT is one of our best qualities. What do you feel is the best part of the program for you? 

Yvonne: The best part of the AMT apprenticeship program is knowing that I will push through any obstacles thrown at me, succeed and be my best self at the end of each day. With LIFT Academy, I can achieve professional success and reach personal goals at the same time.  

Question: Sounds to me like you are a driven and dedicated technician! Tell us, what are you looking forward to in your future as an A&P technician?  

Yvonne: I am looking forward to receiving my A&P license and moving forward with great companies and future coworkers while growing and gaining all the knowledge I can and more. 

Our heartfelt appreciation goes out to every apprentice at LIFT Academy for their exceptional work ethic and unwavering dedication. It is their relentless efforts that propel us to great heights, as the accomplishments in the air would be unattainable without the groundwork they diligently undertake. To find out more about our AMT Apprenticeship Program, please visit the Apprenticeship Program page on our website.