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Engaging the Next Generation of Aviation Professionals Through OBAP

At Piedmont, our goal is to lift-up and support organizations that champion diversity. One of our many partnerships is with the Organization of Black Aerospace Professionals (OBAP), which has been at the forefront of promoting diversity in the aerospace field since 1976. OBAP aims to increase the number of African Americans and minorities who pursue careers in aviation and aerospace-related fields. Their mission is brought to life through their pillars of professional development, advocacy and awareness, and youth outreach.

Piedmont’s Director of Corporate Communications, Crystal Byrd, speaking with ACE Academy students.

OBAP hosts over 40 summer Aerospace Career Education (ACE) Academies in various cities across the country which are designed to expose youth to the wide variety of career opportunities in aviation and aerospace. Their program offers students a hands-on experience of learning aviation history, the fundamentals of aerodynamics, the role of government in aviation, and the many careers available in the aerospace field. The ACE Academy is a multi-day event for middle and high school students that have a general interest in learning about aviation.

Piedmont had the privilege to sponsor the OBAP ACE Academy in Charleston, South Carolina (CHS), Boston, Massachusetts (BOS), Tampa, Florida (TPA), and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (PHL). On June 21st, our team members welcomed over 60 students, ages 13-18, to our PHL location to learn more about Piedmont and career paths in aviation.

Vice President of Finance Perry Constant speaking with ACE Academy students.

“It was amazing speaking with the students.  I enjoyed my 1:1 conversations with the students and chaperones to discuss Finance and Piedmont’s culture,” said Perry Constant, Vice President of Finance. I feel these events are important as it allows Piedmont to expand our reach throughout the Aviation community.  More importantly, it allows Piedmont to forge new partnerships and build long lasting relationships. It also gives me an opportunity to mentor and serve as a role model for our Future Leaders.”

Piedmont recognizes that a diverse and inclusive workforce is crucial for business success and sustainability. “We want to support organizations that not only create a positive impact in the world, but also reflect the diverse identities of our team members, “said Jessica Weney a Senior Recruiter. “By sponsoring OBAP, we are making an investment in the communities we support and the future of aviation.”

Dale Witmer, Regional Director of Aircraft Maintenance speaking about Piedmont and aviation careers.As expressed by Dale Witmer, Regional Director of Aircraft Maintenance who participated in the PHL ACE Academy, “I hope we can find the next charismatic leader, someone who was inspired by our story and wants to start their journey toward a very rewarding career in aviation.”