Oct. 6, 2020
With two teenagers at home, Jo Damato, CAM, NBAA’s vice president, educational strategy and workforce development, knows how important it is to nurture the next generation of business aviation professionals – both as a parent and as an industry leader. She’s always in “recruiting mode,” talking up careers in aviation.
For young people, she said, choosing a career is often based on professions seen in everyday life, and that’s why she’ll discuss nurturing tomorrow’s leaders for aviation business careers during a live discussion at 4 p.m. (EDT) Wednesday, Oct. 7, during the week-long Pathways to Aviation Career Symposium.
“We want to open the eyes of parents and teachers to the non-traditional career paths that don’t necessarily look like corner offices,” she said.
“For example, adult influencers may be familiar with commercial airline pilots, but they don’t see the pilot’s corner office as the flight deck,” Damato added. “Maybe the young person never thought about becoming a flight scheduler or an airplane technician who gets the plane ready for takeoff, not mention a career in aviation marketing.
As result, NBAA is invested in helping an emerging workforce reimagine the corner office.
“As a professional in aviation, I feel a responsibility to encourage young people to develop those ‘soft skills,’ such as communication, adaptability, teamwork, and leadership to partner with their technical knowledge,” she said.
NBAA’s workforce development initiatives include its Young Professionals in Business Aviation Council. The leadership team spearheads relationship-building between emerging industry leaders and industry veterans to retain these future leaders.
These NBAA members also engage in grass roots and advocacy initiatives targeted at developing young talent. Finally, there is an emphasis on attracting underrepresented individuals to business aviation, and the work that must be done to foster a diverse and inclusive industry.
“These are all great ways for us to get young aviation professionals in front of the next generations,” said Damato.