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Friday event focuses on jobs in aviation

April 11, 2007

BATTLE CREEK, Mich.--Representatives from more than 20 aviation industry firms will converge on the Western Michigan University aviation campus Friday, April 13, for an Aviation Networking Day designed to link WMU aviation students with the rapidly growing number of new job opportunities in the industry.

The event, set for 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the college's Aviation Education Center on the campus at W.K. Kellogg Airport in Battle Creek, will feature a brief 10 a.m. signing ceremony with the college's newest corporate partner to sign a bridging agreement that will give WMU graduates preferential hiring treatment. The event is open without charge to interested members of the public.

According to Capt. Rick Maloney, dean of the college, the aviation industry is in the middle of a dramatic turnaround and is ready to hire young aviation professionals who can serve in such roles as pilots, maintenance specialists and airport managers.

"The industry has done a 360 degree turn since 2001," Maloney says. "We have employers eager to recruit our graduates and find promising students for internships. The industry is ready to invest in its future work force."

Among exhibitors lined up for the day's activities are Comair, AvFuel, General Aeronautical Atomics, CAE Commercial Aviation Training and AirNet. The Air National Guard 110th Fighter Wing will participate as well, and will bring an A-10 aircraft over from its base on the opposite side of the airfield.

Maloney says other Michigan colleges with aviation programs have been invited to participate, including Eastern Michigan University and four community colleges that are part of the new Fly Team Michigan! consortium announced last month. That collaborative involves aviation programs at WMU, Jackson Community College, Lansing Community College, Delta College and Northwestern Michigan College.

Media contact: Cheryl Roland, (269) 387-8400, cheryl.roland@wmich.edu

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