Nov. 14, 2019
Auburn University recently held its first-ever Business Aviation Day, highlighting career opportunities in the industry, with class discussions, networking booths and an aircraft display, and NBAA’s Northern Mountain Regional Representative Kristi Ivey and Jo Damato, NBAA vice president of educational strategy and workforce development, were there to represent the association.
“More than 50 Auburn alumni and other business aviation stakeholders descended on the ‘loveliest village on the plains’ to promote business aviation as a career path option to aviation students,” said Ivey, a 1997 graduate of Auburn. “It is our hope that other aviation programs around the country that do not currently promote business aviation take note and continue this momentum. It’s up to the alumni in business aviation to support these initiatives.”
Ivey moderated an alumni panel discussion representing a variety of careers in business aviation before she and Damato represented NBAA at a booth at the event. Several NBAA member companies, including AirMed, Textron and Quest Diagnostics, also hosted networking booths to talk with current students about business aviation opportunities.
These companies, and others including Cox Enterprises, Home Depot and Gulfstream Aerospace Corporation, provided aircraft for a display. A “Women of Business Aviation” lunch welcomed female students in the aviation program to hear from the Women in Corporate Aviation Executive Director Liz Clark, Damato and others.
“Business aviation is such a niche industry, the only way for students to know more about opportunities and career paths available [is] to hold business forums such as this with seasoned alumni professionals who are excelling in the industry to share their experiences and networking opportunities,” said Jennafer Cohrs, a Sydney, Australia-based G650 captain and Auburn alumnus who participated in the event.
“Auburn University’s Aviation Center, their alumni and their students put on an excellent business aviation event,” added Damato. “This is the model other schools and alumni groups should follow for bringing business aviation career opportunities to students We encourage more colleges and universities to create activities that highlight the diverse opportunities in business aviation.”
Highlighting Business Aviation Around the Country
In addition to the event at Auburn, NBAA recently took part in 14th annual Aviation Education and Career Expo, held at Leesburg Executive Airport in Virginia, which hosted a record 800 students interested in aviation career opportunities. They spoke with attendees about job opportunities, answered questions about the industry, and promoted business aviation as a viable, exciting career path.
“Being able to speak one-on-one with these young people about the wide range of careers within business aviation and how they can join the industry – it’s invaluable,” said Paige Kroner, NBAA’s central eastern regional representative. “It’s a huge win for our industry when we’re able to open all those eyes to possibilities within business aviation.”
Attending local events to advocate for the industry and boost workforce efforts is a key function for NBAA’s six regional representatives, who are sometimes joined at events by additional staff.
Other events NBAA has taken part in this year – or plans to take part in, include:
- 2019 International Women in Aviation Conference
- Ohio State Conference on Diversity in Aviation
- National Gay Pilots Association 2019 Aviation Inclusion Summit