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Airlines Meet With USU Students to Highlight Career Opportunities

Monday, Mar. 20, 2017

Bruce Miller, Aaron Dyches and aviation students

Bruce Miller, head of USU's School of Applied Sciences, Technology and Education, and aviation faculty member Aaron Dyches, sign an agreement with representatives of Envoy Air, paving the way for students to participate in the airline’s cadet program.

Faculty advisors and members of USU’s Aviation Maintenance team

Faculty advisors and members of USU's Aviation Maintenance team who will defend the team’s national first place title at the 2017 Aviation Maintenance Competition with financial support from Alaska Airlines.

Career placement in aviation is looking up for students at Utah State University with new agreements with two airlines. Envoy Air Inc. and Alaska Airlines representatives recently met with faculty and students in USU’s Aviation Technology program to discuss career opportunities in the industry, and to strengthen connections with the program.

Envoy formally presented a contract between the company and USU for the new Envoy Cadet Program, which is designed to help students transition from the classroom to careers.

“The Envoy Cadet Program is a fantastic program that I wish would have been around when I was in school,” said Brett Cavitt, a captain and pilot recruiter for Envoy.  “I had no idea who I wanted to work for, and I think this program really gives students that peace of mind because they know they are part of a team and that we are going to take care of them.”

Jessica Hines, a USU alumna and pilot recruiter for Envoy, said USU was invited to be a part of the program because of its excellent teaching.

“I love that my alma mater has chosen to become a part of the Cadet program,” Hines said. “It is a great way to recognize Utah State for consistently producing the highest quality graduates and exceptional pilots.”

In the aviation industry, thousands of pilots will be retiring in the next 10-15 years. Cavitt said this program is part of an ongoing effort to address the pilot shortage by finding people who are committed to the company and the industry.

To join the program, students must be enrolled in an aviation-related major and have received their private pilot certificate. Students who meet all of the qualifications will complete a human resources interview with Envoy to be admitted in the program. Envoy cadets will be eligible to receive up to a $22,100 bonus along with all the benefits that come with being an employee at Envoy.

Students in the program will begin their careers at Envoy, a subsidiary of American Airlines, and in six years can qualify to be employed at American Airlines. Advancing between the two airlines, Cavitt said, usually takes anywhere from 10-12 years for individuals who aren’t involved in the program.

Paul Taylor, manager and director of maintenance for Alaska Airlines, also shared news of job growth and opportunities in aviation.

According to Taylor, senior technicians at Alaska Airlines have been employed for an average of 17 years and many will be retiring soon, creating more job opportunities.  Job growth is also occurring as airlines continue to expand. Taylor estimated that within the next 10 years, Alaska Airlines will have 50 new airplanes. This increase will require the company to hire 700 new technicians.

Taylor offered some advice to students when it comes to interviewing and preparing for a career.

“Be very engaging and be ready,” Taylor said. “Study and learn about the company’s history and ask questions. That’s my best advice.”

Additionally, Alaska Airlines’ winning team in the Commercial Airlines Division of the 2016 Aerospace Maintenance Competition (AMC) donated the $500 entry fee for USU’s student team to participate in this year’s competition. Taylor said donating the entry fee is a good opportunity for Alaska Airlines to give back to the industry, because schools like Utah State are vitally important to future of aviation.

Last year, students Autumn Allison, Chase Baune, Kendall Chapman, Stephen Colton and Justin Young from USU’s Aviation Maintenance Management program took first place out of 22 teams in the School Division of the AMC. Taylor commended last year’s team on being prepared, professional and representing the both the industry and USU well at the competition.

This year’s competing team is a mix of new and returning students. Returning team members Baune, Allison and Colton will be joined by Landon Wells and Quentin Wright to compete at the 2017 Aerospace Maintenance Competition on April 25-27 in Orlando, Florida.

Contacts: Brett Cavitt, 972-374-5605,
Jessica Hines, 972-374-5215,

Writer: Aubree Thomas,

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