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Boeing Pilot Scholarship Program aims to increase diversity

Boeing‘s pilot scholarship program aims to nurture and diversify the talent needed to meet the significant long-term demand for commercial airplane pilots.

Boeing has recently announced $950,000 worth of scholarships earmarked for pilot training and education. This initiative is a monumental step towards broadening and diversifying the talent pool in commercial aviation, particularly within the underrepresented demographics in Los Angeles.

Boeing’s Pilot Scholarship Program 

The aircraft manufacturer is donating $500,000 to fund 25 scholarships with five aviation organizations dedicated to developing future pilots:

Boeing’s Investment in Aerospace Diversity 

In a commendable move towards promoting diversity in the aviation industry, Boeing has pledged a noteworthy donation of $450,000 to Fly Compton, a non-profit organization based in Los Angeles, California. Fly Compton has earned a reputation for its dedicated efforts in introducing minority youth to the vibrant career opportunities available in the aerospace sector. This generous financial contribution from Boeing is expected to dramatically elevate the number of flight training classes offered to students in Compton’s community of Los Angeles. 

Advancing Aviation Careers 

But Boeing’s investment stretches far beyond just flight training classes. The aim is to introduce and encourage the exploration of comprehensive career topics related to the aerospace industry. This includes exciting opportunities to design, build and maintain aircraft. An introduction to the emerging field of drones is also on the agenda.

Funding these scholarships reflects Boeing’s commitment to nurturing a diverse talent pool in the aviation industry. 

Implications for the Aviation Industry 

Boeing’s Pilot Scholarship program addresses a pivotal shift in the aviation industry. It’s an endorsement of the need for diversity and inclusivity in an industry traditionally dominated by a specific demographic. The initiative is poised to break barriers and welcome a more diverse group of aspiring pilots and aviation technicians into the industry. 

In addition, Boeing is recognizing the significance and potential of drone technology by expanding its program to include it. This progressive approach gives future pilots and aviation technicians the expertise and abilities related to emerging trends and technologies.

Boeing’s Vision of The Skies Ahead 

Boeing’s investment is a testament to its commitment to nurturing talent and promoting diversity in the aviation industry. It’s a promising start and clearly indicates their intent to drive change and inclusivity within the industry. The aviation community will undoubtedly be watching the outcomes of this program with great interest as it sets the direction for future initiatives in the industry.

“The demand for qualified and diverse pilots remains high at airlines worldwide. While becoming a pilot provides a lifelong career, access to training remains a barrier to entry for many,” said Ziad Ojakli, executive vice president of Government Operations at Boeing. “These organizations are helping the next generation of pilots realize their full potential while also showing communities that are historically underrepresented in the industry that a future in aviation is possible.”

The aviation industry continues to experience robust demand for freshly trained personnel. As per Boeing’s projections, the forthcoming two decades will require 602,000 new pilots. These pilots will not only fly but also uphold the maintenance standards of the global commercial fleet. Boeing will share more insights on the opportunities in aviation and aerospace in its latest Pilot and Technician Outlook.

“We are seeing more women and individuals from diverse backgrounds entering the pilot profession because of the mentorship and guidance that aviation organizations like these provide for early career professionals,” said Chris Broom, vice president of Commercial Training Solutions for Boeing Global Services. “The work they’re doing to implement changes needed to remove social and financial barriers to entry are critical.” 

Boeing has demonstrated a strong commitment to fostering diversity in the aviation industry. Since 2019, the company has channeled over $8.5 million into pilot training programs, specifically targeting underrepresented groups within various US communities. 

Boeing’s Scholarship Program: Fueling Diversity in the Sky

The following are reflections from organizations that have directly benefited from Boeing’s generous financial support:

Mark Baker, president and CEO of the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association: “The aviation community is all about partnerships and coming together around the shared goal of protecting and growing our passion for flight. This collaboration is a true embodiment of that spirit and supports our mission of getting more people into the skies.”   

Demetrius Harris, Fly Compton president and executive director: “We are grateful for the tremendous support from our partners at Boeing. They continue to demonstrate an unwavering commitment to breaking down barriers for minority youth within the aviation industry. At Fly Compton, we know that lack of exposure, access to resources and the high cost of flight training prevents underrepresented populations from exploring careers in aviation. We focus on eliminating these barriers to entry, and this funding package from Boeing helps us continue this important work.” 

Claudia Zapata-Cardone, Latino Pilots Association president: “It brings us great joy that Boeing has provided these scholarships to our members. This award allows us to help them achieve their dreams of flight by eliminating the financial barriers associated with training. We look forward to growing and continuing our work with Boeing and LPA, so all our members can access a profession that otherwise would be unattainable.” 

Samantha Whitfield, Organization of Black Aerospace Professionals, executive director: “Funding flight training is often one of the greatest barriers for students of color pursuing a pilot career. Scholarship partners like Boeing provide the much-needed support to fuel the careers of aspiring aviators. OBAP is proud to join forces with Boeing as we seek to diversify the aerospace workforce now and in the future.” 

Stephanie Grant, Sisters of the Skies board member and development director and a United Airlines first officer: “Sisters of the Skies is an organization of professional black female pilots committed to improving scholarship opportunities, mentorship, professional development, and outreach. Being able to support our members through scholarships like this helps offset the high cost of flight school and ultimately see these women become professional pilots. With less than 200 Black female commercial airline pilots nationwide, we remain focused on increasing this number through the pillars of our mission.”  

Stephanie Kenyon, Women in Aviation International, interim CEO: “WAI members appreciate the longtime scholarship support from The Boeing Company. This year during our WAI2023 conference in Long Beach, California, Boeing provided scholarships for career enhancement, manufacturing skills, and flight training. We know that scholarships change lives and provide our members with the financial resources to continue pursuing their aviation/aerospace dreams. As a nonprofit organization, WAI is thankful for Boeing’s commitment to help train the next generation of female aviators.” 

About Boeing

Boeing serves over 150 countries with its advanced commercial planes, defense solutions, and space systems.

As a prominent exporter from the U.S., it effectively harnesses the prowess of a global supplier network to bolster economic growth, sustainability, and community influence. Boeing’s diverse workforce is steadfast in its pursuit of future-oriented innovation, with an emphasis on sustainable strategies and a culture anchored in safety, quality, and integrity. 

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