More than 700 local teens headed to Los Angeles International Airport on Nov. 9 for the inaugural LAX Aviation Career Day, a special event showcasing entry-level employment opportunities for high school graduates.
Students from St. Bernard High School in Playa del Rey and Westchester Enriched Sciences Magnet were among those who participated in the event, hosted by the airport’s community relations department.
More than 30 exhibitors represented various airlines as well as the TSA, Customs and Border Protection, the Los Angeles Airport Police Department, air cargo companies and other aviation and aerospace companies.
Attendees met industry professionals, toured Beechcraft and Cessna aircraft, viewed interactive exhibits and saw live demonstrations. For many, the day’s highlight was a U.S. Coast Guard crew taking off in their search-and-rescue Eurocopter HH65 Dolphin to go out on patrol.
“Career Day shows students the many options available and inspires them toward a future career in aviation,” Los Angeles Board of Airport Commissioners Vice President Valeria Velasco said.
“Exposure to various careers is a key aspect to providing students with the knowledge and agency to determine their pathway to success,” added LAUSD Senior Executive Director for P-12 Education Derrick Chau.
The Westchester, Playa Venice Sunrise and El Segundo Rotary Clubs funded a free lunch for students who attended.
Aviation experts project a critical decline in the pool of pilots, technicians to maintain airlines and other industry professionals over the next 15 years.
“This event shows us we can fuel the future of aviation by inspiring students to develop a passion for aviation at an early age,” Los Angeles World Airports Deputy Executive Director of External Affairs Trevor Daley said.
— Regan Kibbee