The lay-up process, for example, is divided into five work centers, labeled A through E. “If you are a technician in work center A, you work on simpler parts than if you are a tech in work center E,” says Rubio. “It sounds simple, but it requires a robust system to ensure that people are moving from basic to complex jobs with the right qualifications.”

While the company is very proud of its highly-trained workforce, it’s an ongoing endeavor. “It is a day-to-day effort to recruit talent, not only on the composite [production] side, but other functions as well,” says Rubio. “Everything has to do with the company culture – offering the right working conditions and operating under a certain value set. It’s a team effort from leadership and management all the way to the production floor.” In the past few years, ICON Aircraft’s employee attrition rate has declined from the market average of 10% to less than 3%.

Rubio is excited to be a part of ICON’s transition from a research and development company to a serial manufacturer. “It’s been a great journey,” she says. “It has taken a lot of effort and a lot of heart to get to where we are.”