Federal Aviation Employees Want More Latinos In Their Ranks

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File photo of air traffic control tower and terminals at John F. Kennedy International Airport in NYC. Mark Lennihan / ASSOCIATED PRESS

Have you ever thought of a career in aviation? Latino federal employees in this field would like you to think about it.

The Federal Aviation Administration and the National Hispanic Coalition of Federal Aviation Employees have teamed up this year to recruit and encourage Latinos to apply for 3,000 training positions in the air traffic control system, available since Sunday.

Historically, the FAA has had a small number of Hispanic employees and applicants, with only 6 percent of Hispanics making up their workforce.

The FAA has had a set way of recruitment and outreach in its’ history. They target the military, colleges, and anyone in the aviation industry program.

David Dominguez, President of the NHCFAE and an air traffic controller in California said that he believes that opening up recruitment and outreach to other communities would bring a more diverse workforce.

“I remember driving by a traffic control tower as a kid and saying, ‘wow that would be a great job’ but, there wasn’t many FAA promotion where I grew up in El Paso, Texas,” said Dominguez.

He said he believes the aviation industry is accessible too all, but that many are not aware of the job opportunities available to them.

The coalition was given a green light from the FAA to work on informing more Latino communities of these openings. The NHCFAE has worked with groups such as the Hispanic Caucus and the League of Latin American Citizens.

The organization has also given many inner city youth the opportunity to tour air traffic control towers to encourage interest in this field.

“We Latinos can make a difference and improve diversity which is something the FAA wants,” said Dominguez, who is of Mexican descent. “I want to share with younger Latinos that they have the same opportunities I had.”

According to Dominguez, the jobs available are easily accessible to many considering a career in the aviation field.

Applicants need to be US citizens between the ages of 18 to 31 with three years of responsible work experience or a bachelor’s degree. They can also have a combination of work experience and post-secondary education adding up to three years. No background in aviation is needed, just interest in the job opportunity.

These job openings will only be available until March 27, due to the high number of applications the FAA plans on receiving.

Jobs can be found online at USAjobs.gov by using the key words, “air traffic control,” or applicants can register at the FAA’s Virtual Career Fair.

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