Emily Bamforth, Cleveland.com | October 22, 2020
The company will cover internships for 20 to 30 students each school year and cover the cost of flight training for more than 10 students.
Image courtesy: Lisa DeJong/The Plain Dealer
United Airlines is launching a fellowship program with Cleveland’s Davis Aerospace and Maritime High School which will cover internships and flight training for some students.
The company will cover internships for 20 to 30 students each school year and cover the cost of flight training for more than 10 students. If the program goes well, United leaders hope to use it at other locations across the country. The flight training can set students up to pursue a pilot’s license.
The Aerospace and Maritime High School, founded in 2017, is about to graduate its first class of seniors. United officials were looking to expand programming to diversify its workforce after George Floyd’s death in May launched a nation-wide conversation on race issues and police brutality.
Nationally, airline pilots are 93.7% white, and only 7.5% are female, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
After an internet search to research potential locations, United reached out to the high school. The partnership was announced at Cleveland Hopkins on Oct. 22.
“When I saw a video of one of their young students taking her first solo flight, I thought ‘wow, this is a good place to start,’” Phil Griffith, United’s vice president of technical operations and supply chain, said in an interview with Cleveland.com.
The internships will cover the airline industry, introducing students to jobs in airline maintenance and engineering through trips to Cleveland Hopkins, lessons in 3-D printing for airline parts, technical training and mentorships in partnership with PHASTAR, a non-profit which co-founded the high school.
“The Cleveland Plan, our blueprint for education reform, calls for providing students with real-world experience that serves as a gateway to careers,” CEO Gordon said. “This partnership is an outstanding example of how we can expose them to different fields and make them aware of options.”