Westchester, Il - On April 6, 2021, United Airlines and JPMorgan Chase & Co. will partner with the Organization of Black Aerospace Professionals (OBAP) to identify candidates for United’s Aviate Academy, select applicants to receive nearly $300,000 in scholarships and grants, and train 5,000 new pilots by 2030. In addition to funding for training, OBAP is committed to creating a student support program to assist students of color with unique challenges throughout their experience.
The United Aviate Academy acknowledges that the high cost of training to become a commercial airline pilot creates barriers to entry for highly qualified candidates. With this in mind, they have set a new diversity goal that 50% of admitted students will be women and people of color. As a pioneer of industry workforce development, OBAP understands the importance of a robust support system to educate and guide diverse students towards aviation and aerospace careers.
“For 45 years, OBAP has led the charge in creating opportunities to help people of color build lasting careers in aerospace, says OBAP Board Chair Joel Webley. “It takes a collection of support mechanisms to ensure students have the resources they need to succeed.”
OBAP invites United’s other program partners, Sisters of the Skies, the Latino Pilots Association, and the Professional Asian Pilots Association to collaborate on the following support plan for scholarship students:
- Supplemental financial support in the form of stipends for students to ensure they spend less time worrying about living expenses, and more time focusing on training
- A team of dedicated program advisors whose sole purpose is to ensure students have access to guidance on how to navigate the challenges of a rigorous training program
- Resources to help establish and grow a student-driven network locally, to foster teamwork, camaraderie, and lasting relationships
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