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23 CHAPTER FOUR INNOVATIVE WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT PRACTICES One of the most innovative practices for developing the exist- to full semester to multi-year programs. Internships may not ing aviation workforce has been to partner with educational necessarily be paid positions, although several airports and institutions. These institutions have the resources and core most private aviation firms do provide a stipend to the interns competencies to provide training and education, particularly and sometimes also provide transportation and lodging if the in skills that are generic to working in a professional environ- intern does not already have a local residence. ment, yet important to the aviation industry. Such skills are found in both entry-level and management-level positions. More than half of the airports that engaged in this research For entry-level positions, skills training in areas such as com- did not support a regular internship program, citing the lack munications, basic computer skills, writing skills, and English of resources to manage such a program as the primary reason. language skills are frequently offered at local colleges. In Those that do support internship programs revealed, however, addition, executive-level management training is commonly that managing programs are often not as resource-intensive as offered at universities with graduate or executive-level pro- originally thought, and the return on any investment is often grams in business administration. Many of these programs excellent. cater to the full-time employee, often offering courses at night, on weekends, or increasingly more common, on-line. Provid- ing the resources or establishing a partnership that allows cur- INTEGRATED PARTNERSHIPS rent employees to enhance their skills is of great benefit to both employer and employee. The FAA has a number of programs that work with the nation's high schools and colleges to encourage top students to become a productive member of the organization's workforce (21). INTERNSHIP AND APPRENTICESHIP PROGRAMS For example: Internship and apprenticeship programs are a means of devel- The FAA's Technical OperationsCollegiate Training oping the future workforce by offering part-time employment Initiative, formerly known as the Airway Facilities to future members of the workforce. Internship programs Collegiate Training Initiative hires students from FAA- are often managed by and in conjunction with secondary- approved colleges and trade schools for entry-level or collegiate-level academic programs. As with most posi- positions in support of the following jobs: tions of employment, internships and apprenticeships can Airway Transportation Systems Specialist be competitive in nature. Interns are typically selected after Computer Systems Specialist a formal application and interview process. Such a process Electronics Engineer helps to ensure that the best, brightest, and most motivated Electronics Technician individuals are accepted. When managed properly, such pro- Environmental Protection Specialist grams are found to be well worth their investments. Engineering Technician General Engineer. The AAAE Academic Relations Committee manages the The FAA Student Intern Program provides learning and AAAE's airport internship program by maintaining a list development opportunities and work experience for stu- of internships and publishing a guidebook for developing dents in high school, vocational and technical schools, internships at airports. Through this committee, the AAAE undergraduate programs (both associate and baccalau- offers guidance to airports in the development and manage- reate degrees), and graduate programs. This program is ment of internship programs. The AAAE's Airport Intern- open to all students (college, high school, technical, or ship Management Program Guidebook may be found on the vocational) enrolled or accepted in a diploma, certificate, Academic Relations Committee page at the AAAE website: or a degree-seeking program (e.g., associate, undergrad- http://www.aaae.org. uate, or graduate). The FAA Outstanding Scholar Program hires exemplary Internship programs coordinated with local aviation com- college graduates in a variety of areas within the organi- panies and airports provide a form of training and education zation, including Health, Safety, and the Environment; not easily replicated in the classroom. Internships may range Writing and Public Information; Business, Finance, and in duration from several weeks (typically during a summer) Management; Personnel, Computer, and Administrative;