WASHINGTON, May 17, 2017– Airlines for America (A4A), the industry trade organization for the leading U.S. airlines, today announced it has partnered with Aviation Community Foundation (ACF) to help foster the growth of the next generation of aviation professionals. ACF is an industry nonprofit dedicated to developing an environment of strong educators who use aviation to inspire students and whose programs are designed to aid in preparing students to be career and/or college-ready.
As part of the partnership, A4A has joined ACF’s New York Student Expedition as a sponsor. The 2017 Student Expedition, taking place May 17 and 18, will bring together more than 100 students from various aviation-centric schools around the country for a unique immersive opportunity to connect with peers, experience the world of aviation first-hand and make valuable connections with industry leaders to help accelerate their own career path. ACF is leading the charge to connect experienced educators and influential leaders in aviation with the selected students.
“The entire aviation industry recognizes the importance of attracting top talent and supporting the next generation, especially as we continue to grow in both scope and size,” said A4A’s Senior Vice President, Legislative and Regulatory Policy, Sharon Pinkerton. “Today’s youth are tomorrow’s leaders and by arming them with first-hand experiences that showcase the unique and rewarding opportunities that exist with a career in aviation, we are further supporting a solid pathway to their success.”
The multi-day aviation based program includes educational workshops, a visit the Cradle of Aviation Museum and a behind-the-scenes experience with JetBlue Airways at JFK International Airport, which includes a visit to the control tower and one-on-one visits with a captain in an aircraft cockpit.
Erik Lindbergh, aviator and grandson of pioneering aviator Charles Lindbergh, will join the event and serve as keynote speaker.
The group will also participate in a hands-on drone demonstration at Vaughn College and take in several “TED Talks” discussions with leaders from Google, JetBlue Airways, Vaughn College, Associated Aircraft Group, Signature Flight Group, The Abingdon Co., and Wheels Up.
At the culmination of the expedition, students will compete in a STEM (science, technology, engineering, math) project, where they will be tasked with building model airplanes. The winning team will be rewarded with a helicopter ride around New York City.
“It is an honor to partner with Airlines for America, JetBlue and other industry leaders along with the best aviation education programs to show high school students what is possible with a ‘flight plan for their life’ in the industry and beyond,” said Ethan Martin, ACF’s CEO. “With the aviation industry experiencing an unprecedented time of growth, many teachers, students and their parents do not understand all the job opportunities that airlines offer. We will continue to look for opportunities to bring together all the pieces to create pathways for success.”
Airlines for America (A4A) members are Alaska Airlines, American Airlines, Atlas Air, Delta Air Lines, FedEx, Hawaiian Airlines, JetBlue Airways, Southwest Airlines, United Airlines and UPS. Air Canada is an associate member.
A4A advocates on behalf of the leading U.S. airlines, both passenger and cargo carriers. A4A works collaboratively with industry stakeholders, federal agencies, the Administration, Congress, labor and other groups to improve aviation for the traveling and shipping public.