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24 Benefits Review, Tax, and Legal; Law Enforcement and · Human and Labor Relations Investigative; and Professional-Related Administrative · Introduction to Travel and Tourism Careers. positions. Non-credit classes that have been offered include: AIRPORT AND UNIVERSITY PARTNERSHIPS · Preparation for SIDA and Air Operations Area (AOA) Badging--This class was developed and is taught by an More than simply considering universities as a location for ESL instructor. Students are introduced to the vocabu- recruiting, a number of airports and aviation industry firms lary, concepts, and testing process by means of a touch have created innovative partnerships for promoting aviation screen computer. as a career, fostering the future workforce, and developing · Interview Preparation--This 3-day class, which is also the current workforce. The following are examples of such taught by the ESL instructor and staff, introduces job partnerships. seekers to employer expectations, the SIDA/AOA badg- ing process, resume preparation, and job interview skills. On the final day of the class, airport employers with open Airport University SeattleTacoma positions can interview students. Most students receive International Airport contingent offers at that time. At the SeattleTacoma International Airport (SeaTac), · Job Seeking Basics--A shorter job readiness class that the Office of Port Jobs "has worked since 1993 to develop is tailored to the airport as a work place. strategies, partnerships, and research that benefit job seek- · Customer Service Skills. ers, employers, and incumbent workers in the port-related · Preparation for Citizenship. economy " (22). One such effort to meet these goals was the · Writing Skills for ESL Students. creation of "Airport University," a skill-building and college credit-bearing academic program designed to help the work- Many of these courses are delivered with the understanding that for a large percentage of the students enrolled English is force at the airport further develop their careers. Unlike the not their primary language. collegiate-level internship programs, the Airport University provides focus to a skill-based workforce that desires funda- Since its founding in 2003, more than 750 students have mental skill development, ranging from basic academic skills, enrolled in Airport University courses (see Figure 15). Most to technical training, to English communication. These courses students enrolled in one course (although others have enrolled were developed from feedback from airport employers seek- in multiple courses). Approximately 950 person-courses have ing to develop certain job skills in their workforce. been completed since 2003. The vast majority of course com- pletions (77%) were in the job skills category, followed by Airport University was formed as a partnership between academic courses (21%), and ESL courses (2%). Most of SeaTac, Highline Community College, and South Seattle the courses completed were non-credit-bearing courses, focus- Community College. Class curricula are developed and deliv- ing on preparing both workers and job seekers for career ered in partnership with instructors at the college and staff at advancement. the airport. Courses are typically offered by community college instructors and some airport employees. Courses are offered The program has also awarded 109 small scholarships on-site at the airport at times that best accommodate the airport (up to $450) to low-income airport workers. The majority workforce, many of whom are on shift-based schedules. of the awardees have used these scholarships at three local institutions: Highline Community College, South Seattle Students enrolled in Airport University courses are either Community College, and Renton Technical College; however, current employees and those seeking employment at the Port a small number of the awardees have included airport workers of Seattle or any of a number of employers at the airport, enrolled in four-year institutions, such as the University of including ground service companies, the airlines, the TSA, and Washington and EmbryRiddle Aeronautical University. concessionaires. Courses at Airport University are offered either tuition- The Airport University offers courses in three broad cate- free or with tuition subsidies and scholarships through a com- gories: Job Skills, Academic Courses, and English as a Second bination of funding sources, including local, state, and fed- Language (ESL). eral grants; United Way support; and local tuition assistance programs. Credit-bearing classes that have been offered on-site include: SeaTac's PortJobs model has been successfully replicated in other major U.S. airports. Denver International Airport, for · Beginning Computer Skills (Keyboarding One and Two) example, partnered with the city and county of Denver's Divi- · Using Computers in Business sion of Workforce Development to establish the Denver · Supervision and Leadership Workforce Center at DIA.
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25 FIGURE 15 Participants at Airport University at the SeattleTacoma International Airport learn valuable skills as well as academic credits. PortJobs also assisted the Baltimore/Washington Interna- airport are directly integrated into the student's classroom tional Airport in establishing a "One-stop Career Center," a experience at the university. partnership between the airport and Ann Arundel Community College. More information about SeaTac's airport university In addition to the internship program, The Teaching Airport may be found at http://www.portjobs.org. operates an airport information kiosk at the airport. This kiosk is staffed by ERAU university students and is equipped with a series of computers that display real-time flight tracking of EmbryRiddle Aeronautical University: all flights departing and arriving to the airport and local and The Teaching Airport national real-time weather information. Student "ambassadors" staffing this kiosk gain valuable experience by providing tech- A unique partnership between EmbryRiddle Aeronautical nical information to interested airport visitors (see Figure 16). University (ERAU), Daytona Beach Campus, and the Day- tona Beach International Airport (owned and operated by Since the inception of The Teaching Airport in 2003 more Volusia County, Florida) has applied the "teaching hospital" than 50 student interns and kiosk ambassadors have gained model to internship programs. Known as "The Teaching Airport," students at ERAU are able to integrate their course curricula with internship and other part-time employment opportunities at the airport (23). As part of this program, students are engaged in their internship opportunities while taking courses on campus, as opposed to the traditional intern- ship program, where students typically dedicate a summer, semester, or academic year to the internship. The Teaching Airport Internship is a 15-week program offered during the ERAU fall, spring, and summer terms. For seven weeks the intern assists the airport administration in such functions as grant development, budgeting, marketing, air service development, and other strategic initiatives. For the remaining weeks, the intern assists airport operations in performing daily airfield activities, such as conducting airfield and terminal inspections, assisting with aircraft and passenger needs, and performing activities associated with special events and alerts. At the conclusion of the internship, interns create two deliverables: a log of their activities and a technical report on an activity in which they have participated. Such techni- FIGURE 16 Teaching Airport at EmbryRiddle Aeronautical cal reports have ranged from analyses of runway incursion University has contributed to the development of nearly 100 new hotspots to vehicle parking behavior to air service analyses. aviation professionals through integrated workforce development Unique to The Teaching Airport, internship activities at the programs with the Daytona Beach International Airport.
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26 valuable experience in the airport industry. Many of these written communication skills of the student employees. As interns have since gone on to full-time positions at many of a result, students graduating from the Ohio State Airport the nation's largest airports, aircraft manufacturers, FBOs, and employment program have gone on to successful careers in aviation consulting firms (24). Specifically, Daytona Beach aviation consulting, research, and management, as well as line International Airport has benefited from this program by hav- service and other skill professions. ing direct access to already trained potential members of its workforce and has hired several members of its workforce Ohio Aerospace Initiative directly from this program. In the state of Ohio, there has been a state-wide initiative The Teaching Airport program has also offered other activ- to grow and foster the state's aviation workforce. Ohio is ities to help educate and train the students. Such activities often known as "The Birthplace of Aviation." In the more have included a guest lecture series and the use of the airport than 100 years since the Wright brothers developed the first as subjects for research activities and site visits. It is estimated fixed-wing fully controllable aircraft in Dayton hundreds of that hundreds of students have benefited from The Teaching companies employing thousands of professionals with inter- Airport program since its inception. It has also become evi- ests in aviation have been a significant contributor to the dent that many Teaching Airport activities may be emulated Ohio economy. at any number of universities, community colleges, or even sec- ondary schools located near a civil use airport. More informa- To ensure that these companies continue to reside in Ohio, tion about the EmbryRiddle Aeronautical University Teach- and that the current and future Ohio workforce stays in Ohio, ing Airport Program may be found at http://www.erau.edu/ the Ohio Board of Regents has established and promoted the db/teachingairport/. Ohio Aerospace Initiative, a consortium partnering the state's public colleges and universities with Ohio-based companies Ohio State University Department of Aviation: with interests in aviation (see Figure 18). Student Employment Program The mission of the Initiative is to align university The Ohio State University Department of Aviation has a very course curricula with the needs of the aviation industry. active student employment program at the university-owned These colleges include The Ohio State University, Ohio Uni- and operated airport. Students have been trained in a wide versity, Bowling Green State University, Sinclair College, variety of professional skills to enhance the airport workforce. Kent State University, and Columbus State College. Industry Student employees are placed in jobs, including aircraft line partners include NetJets, Limited Brands, and Nationwide service, customer service, engineering, planning, and admin- Insurance. istration (see Figure 17). As a result of this initiative, The Ohio State University Student employees engaged in research and strategic ini- Department of Aviation developed an integrated course in tiatives at the airport have presented their findings to national Business Aviation. This course combined traditional text- audiences, which has helped to further develop the oral and book study with site visits and term projects in partnership FIGURE 17 Ohio State University Department of Aviation employs students in a variety of positions, from operations staff to environmental analysts.
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27 Industry Advisory Boards To ensure that they are educating their students to be produc- tive members of the aviation industry workforce, several uni- versities have partnered with industry to form industry advi- sory boards. These boards are comprised of a panel of typically executive-level representatives from a spectrum of sectors within the industry. Boards range in size of membership from 6 to 20 members. The primary mission of these boards is to guide its respec- tive colleges and universities in developing and maintaining program curricula that meet the needs of the industry, partic- ularly in the face of a highly volatile environment, with con- stant changes in policy, technology, and appropriate business FIGURE 18 Ohio Aerospace Initiative is among the first methods. integrated state, university, industry partnerships with a focus on the development of the business aviation workforce. Industry advisory boards are mutually beneficial to all parties. Academic programs with such boards are more able to keep in touch with the needs of the industry, and students within these programs are better prepared to be productive with local business aviation departments. Students graduat- members of the workforce. In addition, those industry mem- ing from this course have gained the ability to enter the work- bers on an advisory board benefit by both influencing the aca- force with valuable experience in the operation of business demic institution's curricula, and having direct access to the aviation firms. This curriculum is being shared with all the students studying under these curricula. Examples of universi- colleges in the initiative. More information about The Ohio ties and colleges with active aviation industry advisory boards State University Department of Aviation student employment include Auburn University, Dubuque University, Embry programs and the Ohio Aerospace Initiative may be found at Riddle Aeronautical University, Purdue University, Louisiana http://aviation.osu.edu. Tech, and the University of North Dakota.