Alaska Airlines Aviation Day Inspires Youths to Pursue Careers in Aviation

Nearly 600 high school students will gather at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport on May 10 to kick the tires and stand inside the wheel well of a 737 jet while learning about careers in...

SEATTLE, May 8, 2014 /PRNewswire/ — Nearly 600 high school students will gather at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport on May 10 to kick the tires and stand inside the wheel well of a 737 jet while learning about careers in aviation during the sixth annual Alaska Airlines Aviation Day. Employees from Alaska Airlines, The Boeing Co., Port of Seattle and Federal Aviation Administration will be on hand to inspire the next generation of aviators, engineers, air traffic controllers and aircraft mechanics, among other disciplines.

Students from as far away as Arizona will join youths from more than a dozen organizations including the Boy Scouts of America, Girl Scouts of Western Washington, Raisbeck Aviation High School, The Ninety Nines, Women in Aviation International, the Museum of Flight and the Black Pilots of America (BPA).

"Our goal is to nurture the wonder and enthusiasm of these kids and show them the path toward a rewarding career is within reach," said Allen Cassino, an Alaska Airlines first officer and Aviation Day project manager. "We'll introduce students to professionals who will help them understand that, no matter where they come from, there are opportunities for them in this industry. Be it a pilot or an engineer or an aircraft mechanic, the possibilities are endless."

Attendees will have an opportunity to sit in a Cessna 182, build a glider with a Boeing engineer, simulate an emergency evacuation with Alaska Airlines flight attendants, and construct a robot with the Museum of Flight and the Raisbeck Aviation High School robotics team. All students will also get to fly in an Alaska Airlines Boeing 737 simulator.

"With Aviation Day, we're hoping to inspire young people in our local communities to realize their dreams and pursue careers in the aviation and aerospace industries," Alaska Airlines CEO Brad Tilden said. "We have the ability to accomplish this by providing a forum where the dream of flight meets the reality of the world. Aviation Day would not be possible without the hard work of Air Group employees and others who work tirelessly to make it a success."

"The Boeing team is again glad to be part of this great event.  It is a wonderful opportunity where we've come to share our experiences and passion of aviation," said Edward Zielinski, Boeing 787 propulsion integration team lead. "The best part of Aviation Day is, while sharing our experiences with the participants, when you make a key connection with a student, and you instantly see that a flame has been kindled; you see in their eyes that they have the same passion I have and they want to be part of the aviation industry."

Students will also have an opportunity to network with Alaska Airlines pilots, flight attendants and aircraft technicians along with FAA air traffic controllers, federal air marshals and Port of Seattle airport managers, who will provide career advice. Representatives from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, Central Washington University, Purdue University and Green River Community College, among others, will be on hand to answer questions about education opportunities.

"All of us at the Port of Seattle are thrilled to connect kids with aviation," said Port of Seattle Commissioner Bill Bryant. "We've done it through our support of Raisbeck Aviation High School and we're happy to be able to participate with Alaska Airlines on Saturday."

Alaska regularly supports education programs throughout the local communities where the airline flies. Most recently, Alaska announced a $1.5 million grant in collaboration with the Port of Seattle to help support job training for workers at Sea-Tac Airport. The Port Jobs donation comes on the heels of the airline's donation of $2.5 million to Seattle's Museum of Flight to help create the Alaska Airlines Aerospace Education Center to guide students toward a future in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM).

The airline will host a second Aviation Day on Saturday, May 17, at Horizon Air's hangar located at Portland International Airport.

Alaska Airlines, a subsidiary of Alaska Air Group (NYSE: ALK), together with its partner regional airlines, serves nearly 100 cities through an expansive network in Alaska, the Lower 48, Hawaii, Canada and Mexico. For reservations, visit For more news and information, visit the Alaska Airlines Newsroom at

SOURCE Alaska Airlines