Airport Business Celebrates The Best And The Brightest Among Aviation's Up-and-comers

Nov. 26, 2014

Earlier this week I met a friend in a local coffee shop. At another table was a young lady—a recent college grad—with her laptop, filling out job applications. Let’s call her Susan.

Susan and her family are well known to my friend and me. She’s one of those young people who you just know will go places. She made good grades, speaks several languages, studied in Paris for a term and recently toured South America. She is also personable, charming, dignified and quite literate in writing and/or conversation. I figure just about any company or guvmint entity would love to hire her.

Here’s the rub. Susan most probably isn’t applying to any aviation/airport company at all. She hasn’t exactly said so, but I’d bet she doesn’t even consider aviation when she thinks about job possibilities/opportunities.

This hurts aviation, and we need to change this picture.

This is the “40 Under 40” issue of Airport Business magazine. Within these pages you’ll find the 2014 choices for forty young people considered to be among the leaders of our industry. As pointed out in past such issues, these people are extremely important to our industry. We can’t exist without bright young people moving in the industry.

At the same time, the industry is important to these young people. They have chosen this industry, and we appreciate it.

I suggest that we change our image, starting with this issue. We need to let the world know that our industry does hire young and talented college graduates and that they do well.

Are any of the current “40 Under 40” group from your company, organization or airport or even from your town, county or state? I suggest—urge—you to send this info—just cut out their listing from this issue—to your local media with a few lines on the subject of “local young person gets honored.” Publicize them. Invite them to come to your civic club to speak or just visit. Make a fuss over them and make certain the media know about them.

Frankly, we should do this with any of our leaders in any part of the aviation industry. This is particularly true of airports, and thank goodness airports do an excellent job of publishing good news.

Also frankly, airports probably have an advantage within the industry when it comes to hiring bright young folks. Everyone knows about their local/regional; airports. There’s even a good chance that they know about airport management and recognize them as leaders within the community.

Let’s put out the good word. It’s important.

About the Author

Ralph Hood | Certified Speaking Professional

Ralph Hood is a Certified Speaking Professional who has addressed aviation groups throughout North America. A pilot since 1969, he's insured and sold airplanes at retail and distributor levels and taught aviation management for Southern Illinois University.

Ralph Hood is also an award-winning columnist (he writes for several publications), a salesman and sales manager (he sold airplanes, for crying out loud!), a teacher (he taught college-level aviation management) and a professional public speaker who has entertained and enlightened audiences from Hawaii to Spain, and from Fairbanks to Puerto Rico.

  • Certified Speaking Professional (CSP), National Speakers Association
  • Past member, National Ethics Committee, National Speakers Association
  • Past president of Alabama Speakers Association
  • Member, Alabama Aviation Hall of Fame
  • Past National Marketing Mentor, AOPA Project Pilot