With travel on the rebound and a generation of career aviation workers eligible for retirement, Georgia lawmakers are examining ways to grow the pipeline of talented aviation professionals across Delta's home state.
Patrick Burns, V.P. – Flight Operations & System Chief Pilot, and Joe McDermott, Managing Director – People Development & Culture at TechOps, recently testified before a Georgia Higher Education Subcommittee about Delta's many job opportunities and the importance of the airline's partnerships with the state of Georgia and its higher education institutions to develop the talent critical to Delta's growth.
"I appreciate Delta's ongoing partnership and participation this week as we all work to identify ways that the state can support Georgia's aviation industry's critical workforce needs," said state Rep. David Knight (R-Griffin), chairman of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Higher Education. "Our number one focus is ensuring that the widening gap in Georgia's aviation maintenance and pilot workforce is filled with quality candidates that have received top-notch education and training through our higher education institutions. I look forward to continued partnerships with our state's leading aviation industries, including Delta, as we work together to achieve this goal."
"We are excited to work with the state of Georgia to create even more pathways from high school to technical schools as we look to hire more than a thousand aircraft maintenance technicians here in Georgia in the coming months," McDermott said. "These aren't just jobs, but true careers. Building an interest in careers in aviation maintenance at an earlier age is key to developing a large pool of skilled applicants in the future and something we must continue to encourage as we build the next generation of AMTs."
TechOps currently partners with numerous schools in Georgia and provides support in avionics and composite training and curriculum so that students are qualified to be hired by Delta as soon as they graduate. Meanwhile, the Delta Foundation has contributed $50,000 each to five technical schools across the state to support related programs.
Aside from careers in TechOps, Delta continues to hire talented professionals across the business in Reservations and Customer Care, Airport Customer Service and Cargo and Flight Operations. Currently, Delta is looking to recruit 1,000 new pilots over the next year.
"We are excited to support the system of the next generation of pilots who come to work for Delta through our Propel Pilot Pathway Program and have already seen 900 applications for the next class," said Patrick. "Delta is the only airline offering student pilots a customized career path to Delta and as we move ahead, we're looking forward to continuing to strengthen the partnerships we have at the 14 universities where the program exists, including Middle Georgia State University in our home state, as well as grow the program at additional schools around the country."
Delta is looking forward to working with the state of Georgia, Georgia General Assembly, the state's higher education system and the rest of the aviation community to continue the discussion that started during the hearing.