To read more, please read the discussion with Shaesta Waiz and Michael Wildes in Flying Magazine.
|DREAMS SOAR ANNOUNCES ITS NEXT CHAPTER: BUILDING AN AVIATION INDUSTRY CAREER RESOURCE CALLED THE HUB, CREATING A TALENT PLEDGE, CONVENING A SEASONED ADVISORY COUNCIL AND LAUNCHING ITS ‘UPLINK’ PODCAST |
Dreams Soar, Inc., the nonprofit that led a historic global solo flight around the world by pilot Shaesta Waiz, unveiled on Monday the next phase in its mission to transform how the aviation industry inspires, connects, and empowers professionals. Plans are underway to build an all-in-one aviation industry career building resource called The Hub. To support construction of The Hub, Dream Soar has launched its Talent Pledge and formation of an industry advisory board consisting of leaders across strategic sectors of education, industry, and government. The announcement was made during “Dream On,” the company’s inaugural state of the industry’s talent keynote.
“Having met more than 25,000 children through Dream Soar’s participation in more than 60 outreach events, we realized that inspiring young people to get involved in aviation was the relatively easy part. The challenge would come after inspired students began wanting to learn more and get connected,” said Waiz, Dreams Soar’s CEO who founded the nonprofit in 2016. “Additionally, of the students we’ve inspired, we haven’t had the infrastructure to measure their progress or provide them the tools we knew they needed to succeed. So, we’ve decided to build it.”
The Hub: A Comprehensive Workforce Solution
“The Hub,” which will feature a series of comprehensive workforce solutions and tools to streamline the “inspire-to-hire” career pathways, will launch in the fall of 2023 with support from strategic partners and communities across the United States. Recognizing the need for a multifaceted approach to solving the aviation industry’s workforce challenges, Dreams Soar plans to roll out various brand segments that will support different stages of the career journey as the organization continues to scale. “It naturally builds on our initial successes while serving the industry’s need for a total workforce solution,” Waiz said.
The Youth Access to American Jobs in Aviation Task Force (YIATF) was established by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) in 2019 to encourage students to pursue in-demand careers in aviation. YIATF published its findings in September 2022 and recognized Dreams Soar as one of the prominent organizations already engaged in the work. “The report validated our strategy,” said Dreams Soar COO Michael Wildes. “The opportunity to make an impact is vast, and we have three goals as we build for the long term: “First, we want students, parents, and educators to be able to discover all the career opportunities available in the aviation industry more fully. “Second, we want to allow companies to recruit, hire, train, and retain more efficiently. “Finally, we want to attract and empower professional career service providers around the industry by providing an ecosystem to exist in. This is what will move the industry forward.”
Seasoned Leadership Involved
“We also wanted to lean on expertise throughout the industry, so in the fall of 2022, we began putting together an advisory board of some of the brightest minds and operators around the industry,” Waiz said. Dreams Soar Advisory Council members include Dr. Sharon DeVivo, President of Vaughn College; Christine Sharp and James Brough from the FAA; Shelley Svoren, CEO of Infinite Branches; Thom Patterson from the National Business Aviation Association (NBAA), J.J. Frigge, President of Hartzell, Andre Castro from the General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA), Peter Truszkowski, CEO of AirPlx. Louis C. Seno, JSSI Chairman Emeritus, serves as Chairman of the organization’s Board of Directors.
“Attracting people to and retaining them in the aviation industry has never been more important,” says Shelley Svoren, CEO of Infinite Branches. “Dreams Soar’s Talent Pledge aims to provide the framework and tactical solutions to accomplish this and do so through global collaboration. I am honored to serve on the Advisory Council of this organization that will create a long-lasting, positive impact on and sustainability for the aviation industry.”
The Talent Pledge: Getting 1 Percent Better Each Year “We want the industry to participate as we build, so we’re launching the Talent Pledge,” Waiz said. The Talent Pledge is Dreams Soar’s formal commitment to building and sustaining the aviation industry career hub. Joining the pledge represents a commitment to reducing learning and hiring gaps by 1 percent each year through regular reports documented on The Hub, workforce barrier elimination, and best hiring efforts. Companies get access to The Hub through the Talent Pledge. Their commitments support and open doors for young professionals to discover aviation.
“Aviation is already all around us and a big part of our lives. On any given day, the industry collaborates to bring awareness to young professionals nationwide. There are career fairs, airshows, museum visits, and just broadly, millions of people get on planes daily for business or pleasure. We have so many opportunities to bring more talent in.” Waiz said. “Today is a new day for the industry. The catalyst for growth is inspiring, connecting, and empowering young professionals. Moreover, it needs to exist in one location, like The Hub. “We’ve never been more excited about leaning into the future and bringing the industry together. The workforce solution is here.”
‘Uplink’: The Aviation Dialogue Starts Here
Dreams Soar also launched a new flagship podcast Monday titled “Uplink.” Every Monday, Waiz and Wildes, who is also a pilot and journalist, offer sharp, unfiltered insights and predictions surrounding aviation’s important stories of the day. Featured guests on the podcast include leading voices from all walks of life. Waiz and Wildes offer context and a deep dive into the latest news and the most impactful trends shaping and disrupting the aviation industry. Moreover, they break down the reasons why these topics matter to you.
“Uplink” will also allow Waiz and Wildes to provide updates about The Hub as Dreams Soar progressively achieves significant milestones in its development. The first episode of “Uplink” features Dr. Sharon DeVivo, President and CEO of Vaughn College in New York, which will be available at 5 pm ET today. In 2020, Dr. DeVivo was appointed chair of YIATF. After YIATF published its report in September 2022, Dr. DeVivo agreed to be a member of the Dreams Soar Advisory Council. In the first episode of “Uplink,” Dr. DeVivo discusses how the report came together and offers her perspective on the state of the aviation industry and opportunities for young professionals.