High School Students Show Sky-High Enthusiasm for Aviation Careers
Nearly 900 high school students from Volusia and Brevard counties recently learned about exciting career opportunities in aviation, aerospace, advanced manufacturing and IT/cybersecurity sectors. It was all part of CareerSource Flagler Volusia’s Career Showcase, which brought together local businesses, educational institutions, community partners and eager students in a collaborative environment.
The students got some hands-on experience through flight simulations, live ethical hacking contests and virtual reality setups while listening to personal testimonies from local employers.
Staff from Daytona Beach International Airport took part in the showcase and was thrilled to interact with area high school students and explain why working at the airport is so rewarding.
The DAB team included operations agents, facility engineers, and marketing and customer service personnel. At the DAB table, the students could spin the wheel and test their aviation knowledge for a chance to win airport promotional prizes while learning about the wide range of career opportunities in aviation.
Wade Hodgson, a senior tradesworker who performs routine maintenance and emergency repairs on airfield lighting, grabbed the students’ attention by showing runway and taxi lights, explaining the difference (taxiway edge lights are blue while runway lights are white and amber), and emphasizing the importance of airport lighting placement.
Carl Schweizer, planning and engineering coordinator at DAB, spoke about future construction projects and surprised many of them with some airport trivia, such as:
- Daytona Beach International Airport is the third busiest airport in Florida for takeoffs and landings.
- The airport property has three runways and covers more than 2,000 acres.
Joanne Magley, the airport’s director of air service, marketing and customer experience, enjoyed talking to the students about careers in communications. This field is applicable to almost every organization due to the importance and need for branding, awareness and public information. Airports provide unique content every day, including rare or specialty aircraft that land, heartwarming passenger stories, and new airlines and routes that are of major interest to the community.
Katherine Wisniewski, the airport’s terminal coordinator, told students the airport’s No. 1 priority is to provide an enhanced passenger experience – one you can’t get at most larger airports. She explained that terminal coordination and customer service are great career choices for students who like to plan events and work with the traveling public. Wisniewski is also a commercial pilot, so she was able to answer questions about the training required to become a pilot.
For more information about DAB, visit www.flydaytonafirst.com.