Atlanta airport offering new training opportunities for local teens

From the time he was a little boy, high school junior Devon Willis knew he wanted to be a commercial airline pilot. He’s about to begin the Hartsfield-Jackson Airport’s summer youth program, to get one step closer to his dream.

“Flight was always interesting to me, ... about how flight operation works. How the airport works,” Willis said.

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The program is a part of Mayor Andre Dickens’ plan to employ 3,000 young people this summer. When this program begins, the students will be in the field learning everything from customer service to marketing.

Students 16 years or older who attend Atlanta public schools, Clayton County schools or Fulton County schools, which are all districts within the airport area, can apply for the program.

Once accepted, students will work alongside and observe customer service representatives, the marketing department, operations, transportation and parking.

Channel 2′s Audrey Washington spoke with Hartsfield-Jackson Airport’s Chief Commercial Officer, Jai Ferrell, about what benefits teens can expect from the program.

"$15 an hour, we’re providing lunch each day, we’re giving them uniforms and we’re also providing commuting options through MARTA cards for them to get to the airport.” Ferrell said.

The airport isn’t the only place working to provide well-paying jobs for teenagers in metro Atlanta. In February, we told you how the owner of a Buckhead car detailing service employed a number of Atlanta waterboys who wanted to get off the streets and into a safer money-earning situation.

Willis believes the airport program will ultimately help his future career in aviation take flight.

“I always loved making paper airplanes,” Willis said. “I’m thinking about majoring in airport management … a good major for becoming a pilot.”


There are still some spots open in the program. The deadline to apply is May 17.

The program begins the first week in June.

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