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Students see airport opportunities at LAX Career Day

LOS ANGELES — More than 1,000 students were welcomed by professionals in aviation, construction, public safety and other industries for the fourth annual Aviation Career Day at Los Angeles International Airport Nov. 6. Held just south of the airport’s 25L/7R runway at the Flight Path Museum and Learning Center, the event featured a wide variety of exhibiting employers and two panel discussions, taking place next to two Boeing 787 Dreamliners and one Airbus 350, provided by United Airlines, American Airlines and Delta Air Lines, respectively.

Students were welcomed from 16 Los Angeles-area high schools, many that are part of the Los Angeles Unified School District. 

“For the past four years, we have been excited to offer students from across Los Angeles the opportunity to learn about jobs in aviation first-hand, from people who reflect the personal and professional diversity of our region,” said Michelle D. Schwartz, chief external affairs officer at the airport. “The aviation industry benefits from the influx of new, creative talent and Aviation Career Day is an investment in our future and the future of all the students who are learning more about the possible careers at an airport.” 

Students learned about aviation careers from professionals working in various roles at LAX. In addition to the approximately 3,500 airport employees, the airport serves as a workplace for more than 50,000 employees at a variety of companies operating in and around it. 

The career event featured representatives from commercial airlines; local, state and federal agencies; public safety agencies, construction firms and more. Students also had the opportunity to see commercial aircraft up close. United Airlines, American Airlines and Delta Air Lines toured students around their respective aircraft’s interior and exterior, answering questions about their jobs and the aircraft. 

Kai, a student from Westchester, expressed interest in becoming a pilot. 

“After you get your pilot’s license, you get to be able to travel to other countries but still get to be close to your family,” she said. “That’s attractive to me.”

Julian Louis, who teaches aerospace engineering at STEM Academy of Hollywood, noted that events like this help make opportunities in aviation and aerospace more real and accessible. 

“This event gives students the experience of what it’s like to work and be around aerospace and aviation,” he said. “Aviation Career Day provides students the practical side of the all the theories that I teach in the classroom.”

The event also featured two discussion panels that included representatives from attending companies and Los Angeles World Airports. The first panel offered insight into the many opportunities in the construction industry and featured representatives from companies currently working on projects included in LAX’s modernization. The second discussion focused on increasing gender diversity in non-traditional careers, such as construction and law enforcement, emphasizing the critical need for industries of all types to employ a workforce that better represents the communities in which they work. 

Attending students came from Alliance Collins Family College Ready High School, Carson High School, Foshay Learning Center, Hawthorne High School, John F. Kennedy High School, North Torrance High School, Northridge Academy High School, South Gate High School, Southeast High School,  STEM Academy of Boyle Heights, STEM Academy of Hollywood and Dorsey High School.

 Exhibiting organizations included United Airlines, Delta Air Lines, American Airlines, Southwest Airlines, the City of Los Angeles, California Department of Transportation, California Highway Patrol, the Los Angeles Airport Police Department, Los Angeles City Fire Department, Swinerton Builders, the Transportation Security Administration, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration; and others.

Wave Staff Report