Dreams Soar, the non-profit organization founded in 2016 that made history with a global solo flight by pilot Shaesta Waiz, has announced its next phase in transforming the aviation industry. The organization plans to build an aviation industry career resource called The Hub, the organization announced during its “Dream On” online event on Monday, March 27.
The initiative includes the launch of its Talent Pledge, convening a seasoned advisory council, and introducing the “Uplink” podcast. These initiatives aim to inspire, connect, and empower professionals and address the workforce challenges in the industry.
Waiz, STEM ambassador to the FAA and Dreams Soar’s CEO and founder, explained that the organization realized that inspiring young people to get involved in aviation was relatively easy.
“Having met more than 25,000 children through Dream Soar’s participation in more than 60 outreach events, we realized…the challenge would come after inspired students began wanting to learn more and get connected,” Waiz said in a statement. “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.”
Enter the Hub, an all-in-one aviation industry career resource.
The Hub will provide comprehensive workforce solutions and tools to streamline the “inspire-to-hire” career pathways. It will launch in the fall of 2023 with support from strategic partners and communities nationwide.
“First, we want students, parents, and educators to be able to discover all the career opportunities available in the aviation industry more fully,” Dreams Soar COO Michael Wildes said in a statement. “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.”
Dreams Soar’s Talent Pledge and industry advisory board, consisting of leaders across strategic sectors of education, industry, and government, will support its mission while encouraging industry participation, according to Waiz. The Talent Pledge is Dreams Soar’s formal commitment to building and sustaining the aviation industry career hub. Companies commit to reducing learning and hiring gaps by one percent annually, and they can open doors for young professionals in aviation.
According to the company’s release, advisory members include industry leaders like Dr. Sharon DeVivo, president of Vaughn College; Christine Sharp and James Brough of the Federal Aviation Administration; Shelley Svoren, CEO of Infinite Branches; Thom Patterson of the National Business Aviation Association, J.J. Frigge, President of Hartzell, Andre Castro of the General Aviation Manufacturers Association, Peter Truszkowski, CEO of AirPlx, and Louis C. Seno, JSSI chairman emeritus, who serves as chairman of the organization’s board.
Svoren emphasized the importance of attracting and retaining people in the aviation industry, and praised Dreams Soar’s Talent Pledge for providing “the framework and tactical solutions to accomplish this and do so through global collaboration,” she said. “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.”
Dreams Soar also plans to introduce its “Uplink” podcast, which will provide a platform for aviation professionals to engage in dialogue and share insights on various topics related to the industry. The podcast aims to connect professionals and allow listeners to learn from their experiences and perspectives.