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Voyageur Aviation feeling the pinch of global labour shortage

North Bay aircraft service company seeking to fill more than 30 vacancies

Like many North American companies, Voyageur Aviation is feeling the worldwide labour shortage.

The company is currently working to fill more than 30 positions at its 200,000-square-foot facility in North Bay.

The company offers services that include airline operations; aircraft maintenance; repair and overhaul; aircraft part sales and logistics management; and aircraft leasing. 

It most recently entered into an agreement to provide on-site inventory, component repair, and overhaul for the De Havilland Aircraft of Canada Dash 8-400 to Sabena technics through Voyageur's Exchange Component and Leasing Subscription (EXCL) program.

Cory Cousineau, president of Voyageur Aviation, has been with the company for more than 25 years.

"The entire globe is facing a bit of a labour shortage right now," Cousineau told BayToday.

"For us, we have a lot of opportunities currently available here in North Bay for young people seeking a career path. Certainly, there are going to be labour challenges in the aviation industry but I think it is a good industry for people to get into. It's really a great opportunity right now."

Voyageur currently employs more than 230 workers in North Bay and 350 company-wide.

Cousineau doesn't see the shortage as a North Bay issue and confirms it will not impact the stability of Voyageur going forward.

"It's certainly a North Bay success story," he said.

"We're entrenched here in North Bay. This is our home — has been for the past 40-some years — so we're really about working with community partners, the city, and Canadore to be able to generate interest in aviation in general, in Voyageur, and our ability to recruit people to the city."

He said Canadore College's aviation campus next door is helping fill some of those positions.

"It gives us a lot of opportunities to recruit people from the local community, which is really our goal. So it's about the opportunity at this point."

Cousineau said there is a wide variety of positions open, with about two-thirds being aircraft technical staff.

"They're aircraft maintenance positions essentially, so there are qualifications associated with that, so we are looking for people that have been trained at an aviation college or people with previous experience with aircraft engineering licences."

But a third of the job openings are more general in nature, including in administration, shipping and receiving, and some entry-level positions, explained Cousineau.

In 2015, Voyageur Airways was bought by Chorus Aviation, a Canadian holding company.

Cousineau said North Bay has a lot to offer.

"We are certainly big proponents of the city, looking to build on the strengths North Bay can offer," he said.

"In this day and age, the workforce is fairly mobile, so your recruiting efforts have to be on a more global perspective. It's something we look to do as part of our global hiring strategy."

— BayToday