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Panel of Business Aviation Experts to Discuss Talent Development, Internships, Training and Recruitment

San Francisco – October 18, 2013 – For the second consecutive year, Sheryl Barden, President and CEO of Aviation Personnel International and NBAA Associate Member Advisory Council member, will moderate a panel of industry experts to address new developments regarding the declining aviation talent pool. The 90-minute session is Tuesday, Oct. 22 at 10:30 a.m. during the National Business Aviation Association’s (NBAA) Business Aviation Convention and Exhibition in Las Vegas, Nevada. “Last year at NBAA, in front of a packed room, a panel of industry leaders postulated their theories for why the business aviation industry is currently facing ‘the perfect storm,’ and why flight departments are being forced to recruit aggressively to increase the pool of talented people,” said Sheryl Barden, President and CEO of Aviation Personnel International. “As we face a shortage of qualified aviation candidates entering the corporate aviation industry, I’m proud to be asked once again to moderate a panel of experts to help our industry’s leaders navigate the storm.” During the Career and Leadership Development panel entitled: “The Perfect Storm:” Continuing to Address the Declining Aviation Talent Pool,” hear from Barden and five industry leaders as they reveal startling statistics and discuss ways flight departments can plan to be at-the-ready, and attract and retain talented employees, especially during a shortage of trained aviation professionals. The panel will explore, and even challenge, current approaches to recruitment, talent development, internships, training, as well as ways to develop passion and commitment for aviation careers in the next generation. The five panelists include:
Ms. Lee Brewster

Lee Brewster

Lee Brewster, President and Executive Director, National Center for Aerospace & Transportation Technologies, will highlight how aviation maintenance roles are evolving. She will explore the skills gap between newly licensed A&P mechanics and the basic needs of business aviation flight departments.
Carlton Davis

Carl Davis

Capt. Carlton "Carl" Davis, Chief Pilot - Pilot Services for Boeing Flight Services, will share relevant data from Boeing’s Pilot & Technician Outlook workforce statistics as well as thoughts on how business aviation will be affected by changes in the airline industry.  
Kevin Hiatt

Kevin Hiatt

Kevin L. Hiatt, President and CEO of Flight Safety Foundation, will discuss the challenges put upon a safety organization due to a lack of trained aviation personnel and a tight labor pool.  
Dr. Charles Reagan

Dr. Charles Reagan

Charles “Chuck” Reagan, Ph.d., NBAA Board Member, is a Professor of Aviation and Philosophy at Kansas State University, and serves as an advisor to the University President. Dr. Reagan will share how the development path for students has been affected by the FAA’s 1500 hour/ATP rule for commercial pilots and how this may impact the influx of new students.  
Richard Walsh

Richard Walsh

Richard Walsh, NBAA Board Member-Elect and vice-president of a Fortune 20 flight department, will share his company’s approach to developing entry-level college graduates into fully functioning members of a Business Aviation flight department within a 3-year time frame. Attendees will take away a greater understanding of the talent shortage and learn how to address these six questions:
  1. WHO in my organization needs to know about this?
  2. WHAT do they need to know?
  3. WHERE do I find internal and external partners to help me tackle this for my organization?
  4. HOW do I craft solutions so my department and my organization can stay ahead of this issue?
  5. TODAY, how and where do I find talent and what impact do internships play?
  6. TOMORROW, how do I vigilantly retain talent?
naaTwo individuals with ties to NBAA will be honored this fall by the National Aeronautic Association (NAA). Janice Barden and Bruce Whitman will be among five recipients of NAA’s 2013 Wesley L. McDonald Distinguished Statesman of Aviation Award, to be presented at the NAA fall awards dinner on Nov. 12 in Arlington, VA. “We congratulate Janice and Bruce on their selection for this prestigious award, for which they are both well deserving,” said NBAA President and CEO Ed Bolen. Barden is a former recipient of NBAA’s John P. “Jack” Doswell Award for lifelong achievement in support of business aviation; a former chair of NBAA’s Convention Local Committee; and the namesake of one of NBAA’s collegiate aviation scholarships. She is the founder of Aviation Personnel International (API), a retained-search firm designed to serve the hiring needs of business aviation professionals. API is the longest-running aviation recruiting business and has contributed immeasurably to the entire aviation industry, according to NAA. Whitman is president and CEO of FlightSafety International and has enjoyed a long and distinguished career there. A former senior executive with NBAA (then known as the National Business Aircraft Association), he also has served on NBAA’s Associate Membership Advisory Council. Under Whitman’s leadership, FlightSafety provides more than a million hours of training each year to more than 75,000 pilots, technicians and other aviation professionals from around the world. NAA’s Distinguished Statesman of Aviation Award was established in 1954 to honor outstanding Americans, who, by their efforts over a period of years, have made contributions of significant value to aeronautics and have reflected credit upon America and themselves. NAA will also present its 2013 Public Benefit Flying Teamwork Award to ORBIS International and FedEx at the Nov. 12 event. NBAA nominated ORBIS and FedEx for the award, which honors their 30-year partnership to fight blindness around the world.
As seen on the AINonline.com website.
The industry experts on the panel each postulated on the reasons why there is currently an imbalance in supply and demand.The industry experts on the panel each postulated on the reasons why there is currently an imbalance in supply and demand.
Opening to a packed room at the NBAA Convention on Halloween eve is a feat in itself; to keep attendees’ attention for a full hour on such a busy day takes some meat. Sheryl Barden, president and CEO of Aviation Personnel International (API), moderated a panel of industry leaders who postulated their own theories for why we are currently forced to recruit aggressively to increase the pool of talented people from which to choose our next generation of aviators and aviation support staff throughout the world. The panel was composed of Kevin Hiatt, COO of the Flight Safety Foundation; Guy Smith, past president of the University Aviation Association; Mark Malkosky, assistant director for maintenance business development with FlightSafety International; Dan Woodard, chief pilot for Conoco Phillips; Lonnie Robinson, chairman of Aviation Career Enrichment and a captain with US Airways; and Cassandra Shelby, past president of Women in Corporate Aviation and an international captain with Coca-Cola. Barden opened the session with a quote from the chair of the Flight Safety Foundation. She said, “The future shortage of trained aviation professionals will be the greatest threat to aviation safety. But many say, after this recent downturn, ‘We’ve been hearing about this for years–it’s like Chicken Little.’” Yet competition for recruiting and selecting well-qualified aviation professionals is heating up, according to Barden. That stated, Barden picked her panelists’ brains with who, what, where, why and how questions on crafting solutions for flight and maintenance departments that are searching to replace experienced and soon-to-retire employees. The industry experts on the panel each postulated on the reasons why there is currently an imbalance in supply and demand. Kevin Hiatt pointed out that the typical pilot graduating from a university aviation program has 300 to 500 hours of flight experience, whereas the typical 21-year-old college-educated male has an average of 17,000 hours of video/computer gaming experience by the end of his college career. And those are the students with the hand-eye coordination for the jobs in our industry. Airline pilots who would have retired at 60 are now reaching their “life limit” five years after the rule was enacted, and first officers with regional airlines will need an ATP beginning next year, so demand for qualified pilots is set to increase soon. Guy Smith explained how students are being educated for and recruited into aviation by a team of 105 different colleges and universities, but he admitted to the group that these graduates are not typically qualified for the careers that are opening up. Worse, the ones who backed up their aviation aspirations with technical degrees, such as in computers or engineering or IT, are more likely to get high-paying jobs in those fields than in aviation–at least for the time being. Mark Malkosky backed him up about the issues that companies have recruiting talented, ethical and experienced maintenance personnel. Conoco-Phillips’s Dan Woodard said his company is addressing its need for qualified relief pilots by creating an internship program. To date, the company has brought on one type-rated, low-time pilot for a test, and took him along as a “cruise pilot” on an around-the-world trip. Though he never took off or landed the airplane, he logged a whole lot of Gulfstream G550 time as second-in-command, and that, at his level of experience, is priceless. Woodard hopes that the internship program will become an affordable way for the flight department to “grow” new pilots for the company. Lonnie Robinson and Cassandra Shelby touched on the benefits and, in this day and age, necessity of reaching out to populations that haven’t typically aspired to aviation careers, pointing out that raising awareness of the opportunities in aviation is key to increasing diversity in the industry.
Five years ago, experts called the coming shortage of trained aviation professionals “the greatest threat to aviation safety,” but then the recession struck. “So the problem kind of went away for a while,” said Sheryl Barden, president of Aviation Personnel International, in a session on Oct. 31 at NBAA2012. “Many people still say, ‘Will it ever really come to pass?’” “It will” was the consensus of a panel of flight department leaders and aviation educators at the session titled “Addressing the Declining Aviation Talent Pool,” but only with support from the industry.

Why the Shortage?

The improving economy, decline in graduates from flight schools and airframe and powerplant (A&P) courses, and global growth in aviation is creating a ‘perfect storm’ of rising demand and tightening supply. “Certain factors came in to mitigate [the shortage],” said Kevin Hiatt of the Flight Safety Foundation, “but now those have pretty well played out. For one, the airlines’ Age 65 rule is finally coming to an end. Plus, next summer, the 1,500-hour rule will come into effect for first officers on regional air carriers.” There’s also lower turnover today from the U.S. military, and pay in aviation is becoming less competitive. The shortage is just as evident for maintenance technicians. Enrollment in A&P schools has dropped and A&P graduates are leaving aviation for other industries. “Today’s cars have high-tech components like modern aircraft, so the automotive industry is attractive to the aircraft technician, and to be honest with you, the pay is attractive,” said Mark Malkosky of FlightSafety International.

Creative Solutions

“Unfortunately, when you look at the demand for pilots and maintenance technicians, they’re not met by our graduates,” said Guy Smith of Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University and the University Aviation Association (UAA).“So we’re looking for some ways to bridge that gap.” While UAA schools focus on more than just technical training – including business ethics, working in teams and communication skills – they need support from the industry. Smith encouraged more business aviation professionals to get involved in the industry advisory councils at their local aviation schools, which tend to be dominated by airline representatives. The panelists also encouraged flight departments to create internships for aviation students. ConocoPhillips, for example, created a Cruise Pilot Internship Program “where interns get to fly whenever the airplane is in cruise flight,” said ConocoPhillips’ Dan Woodard. “And we get them takeoffs and landings when we don’t have passengers on board.” By getting creative with programs like this, flight departments can make big investments in talent without investing a lot of money.

Focus on Diversity

Given the talent shortage, Barden said it was more important than ever for aviation employers to attract the best candidates from all backgrounds. Currently, only 3.29 percent of air transport pilots are women, and less than 1 percent are African American. Women often say they enjoy the close-knit team environment in many flight departments, said Cassandra Shelby, a pilot with Coca-Cola and former president of Women in Corporate Aviation International. However, business aviation provides women less career stability than the airlines, she said, “because sometimes flight departments merge and sometimes they close down.” The number one reason more African Americans don’t enter business aviation, according to Lonnie Robinson of Aviation Career Enrichment, is that they “just don’t know about the opportunities.” Getting the message out about business aviation, not just for women and African Americans but for everyone, “is something each of us in our companies must do,” Barden said.

For more information about NBAA resources for students, visit:

Sheryl-Barden-Aviation-Personnel-International-CEOSAN FRANCISCO - June 2012 - Sheryl Barden, President and CEO of Aviation Personnel International (APIaviation.com), has accepted the nomination to join the National Business Aviation Association’s (NBAA) Associate Member Advisory Council, which is made up of representatives from NBAA member companies that provide products and services to the international business aviation community. “The Associate Member Advisory Council (AMAC) is about providing good council and advice to the NBAA Board of Directors and we feel privileged to welcome Sheryl Barden of Aviation Personnel International (API),” says Jay Mesinger, Chairman of the NBAA Associate Member Advisory Council, NBAA Board Member and President and CEO of J. Mesinger Corporate Jet Sales, Inc. “Her vast background in leadership and aviation human resources is an essential component to the information needs of the Board.” As the head of the longest-running business aviation recruiting business, Barden utilizes her extensive background in employee search, screening and coaching to fulfill her clients' human resource consulting needs. A business aviation flight department recruiting expert for more than 20 years, she is a frequent guest speaker and contributor for industry organizations such as NBAA, Flight Safety Foundation and Women in Corporate Aviation. In addition to joining the NBAA Associate Member Advisory Council; Barden is the 2012/13 President of the International Women's Forum of Northern California as well as a member of the International Aviation Womens Association and Women in Corporate Aviation. From 2006-2012, she served as a member of the NBAA Corporate Aviation Management Committee. “Aviation is not an airplane business, it is a people business and Sheryl is the best in our field for staffing solutions,” Mesinger says. “Her company reputation as well as her personal reputation is the industry standard. She has set the bar!” Barden earned a B.S. in Management with an emphasis in Personnel Management from the Pennsylvania State University and a MBA from the McLaren School of Business at the University of San Francisco. For more information about Barden and API, please visit the API website. To view other AMAC members, visithttps://web.nbaa.org/about/leadership/committees/amac/.
UAA JANICE K. BARDEN AVIATION SCHOLARSHIP Through the UAA Janice K. Barden Aviation Scholarship, NBAA Charities annually awards $1,000 to each of five undergraduates studying aviation-related curricula at NBAA and University Aviation Association (UAA) member institutions. This scholarship is named for Janice Barden, who has been active in the aviation community for decades and has served as chair of the NBAA Business Aviation Convention & Exhibition Local Committee more than any other person in NBAA history. Awards will be made to U.S. citizens without regard to sex, race, religion or national origin. Scholarships will be awarded by spring 2016, and checks will be made payable to the school. Scholarship recipients must use the funds by Dec. 31, 2016, or risk forfeit of the award. Applicant must be a full-time undergraduate student (sophomore or higher) enrolled in an aviation-related two-year or four-year degree program at an NBAA and University Aviation Association (UAA) member institution with a cumulative undergraduate grade point average (GPA) of 3.0 or above on a 4.0 scale. A completed application form must be accompanied by one essay, one transcript, one resume and one letter of recommendation. See application form for details. For all NBAA scholarships, applicants are limited to receiving one award per person, per year. Direct all questions about this application to NBAA's Tyler Austin at (202) 783-9267 or scholarships@nbaa.org.
Business aviation hiring is expected to increase substantially in 2012, according to several firms specializing in aviation jobs placement. The job gains may be greatest for those in aircraft avionics and maintenance, although the number of pilot jobs also is expected to be higher. These positive prognoses are a further sign of the improving climate for business aviation, and support predictions that the industry will see a modest upturn this year. “I think our survey pretty much indicates that it will be a positive year,” said Sam Scanlon of JSfirm.com, an online aviation job distribution network. In mid-February, the firm reported that 85 percent of companies responding to its annual Aviation Industry Hiring Trends survey expected to hire more workers in 2012, with most of that activity coming in the first two quarters of the year. The survey covers a variety of aviation sectors, including rotorcraft, general aviation and commercial aviation. Scanlon said the JSfirm.com survey shows the hiring gains will be fairly evenly split among all sectors. Respondents included businesses of all sizes, from major manufacturers to small operators, and included companies in all industry segments. Scanlon and executives from other aviation staffing agencies say the hiring climate actually began improving last year. “At the very beginning of 2011, we started to see additional headcounts turning,” said Sheryl Barden, president and CEO of Aviation Personnel International, an aviation recruiting firm that exclusively serves the hiring needs of flight departments in business aviation. “Now, we’re starting to see flight departments replace retirements, fix people problems within their departments and add employees.” Last year, companies also started positioning themselves for an expected market upturn by hiring more executives. “Management searches for us doubled in 2011 versus 2010,” said Grayson Barrows, director of sales at Aviation Search Group, an aviation management recruiting firm with a focus on business aviation. “Folks are looking for game-changers; people who will come in and alter the budget, create new services and build new teams. We expect to see that trend continue in 2012. It’s not slowing down by any means.” Amid all this positive news, however, is a growing concern that employers may have a difficult time finding qualified people, especially to fill more technical jobs requiring a higher level of training and industry experience. “If you look at all the data, we’re going to be woefully short of trained talent,” Barden said. “It takes a long time to train someone in some of these jobs, and it takes a lot of money.” This shortage could be especially severe in the area of maintenance, due largely to what Barden said is a changing dynamic in the segment where today’s aviation technician works as much with a computer as with a wrench. “We’re competing with an entire industry of technology for that talent,” she said. “Unfortunately, we’re not bringing enough people into maintenance to support us. We’re going to have a serious gap. We already do.” Scanlon added that the growing need for experienced, qualified employees extends to other job disciplines, and is the primary driver for the dramatic increases in postings JSfirm.com has seen on its website this year. “It has been extremely busy on our jobs board; I mean busier than it’s ever been,” he said, adding that indications are the jobs gains will continue well beyond next year.

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