October 19, 2005

Aviation career fair set for Friday at SIUC

by Pete Rosenbery

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- Thirty-one aviation-related firms will visit Southern Illinois University Carbondale on Friday, Oct. 21, for the 2005 "Aviation in the Future" Career Fair.

The 11th career fair is from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the Student Center Ballrooms A, B and C. That evening, Klaus Goersch, vice president of flight operations for AirTran Airways, delivers the keynote address at 7 p.m. in Ballroom D.

In addition to aviation students, participating firms hope to talk with students majoring in such fields as business, speech communication and engineering, said David A. NewMyer, chair of the Department of Aviation Management and Flight.

Career fair participants include several regional airlines, St. Louis-based Boeing Corp., which employs more than 800 SIUC graduates, and the U.S. Marine Corps, which is looking for aviation officers.

The career fair is free and open to the community. Interested individuals should bring resumes and "an appetite to learn about the aviation industry because there will be many things going on," NewMyer said.

This career fair currently ranks second in terms of number of participating firms, and will feature the most to come to SIUC since 9/11, NewMyer said.

There are aviation-related career options that involve more than just piloting planes. There are more than 2.1 million jobs in aviation and 9 percent of the nation's gross domestic product has something to do with aviation.

Founded in 1993, AirTran Airways, based in Orlando, Fla., is one of the nation's largest low-fare airlines. It offers more than 500 daily flights to more than 40 destinations, and has a hub in Atlanta, Ga.

"We have a lot of alums who work there and it is a perfect fit for our career fair," NewMyer said.

Goersch, the keynote speaker at the evening banquet, began his career as a pilot at Lufthansa German Airlines. He also served as a Federal Aviation Administration examiner and director of corporate training for Mesaba Aviation, Inc.

Goersch's speech will likely focus on the future of airlines, particularly from the perspective of low-cost carriers and what differentiates them from legacy airlines such as Delta, United, Northwest and American.

Scholarships valued at more than $25,000 will also be awarded to aviation students at the banquet.

Tickets for the dinner are $30 for adults and $15 for SIUC students.

For more information, contact NewMyer at 618/453-8898.

Shaping high-quality undergraduate programs is among the goals of Southern at 150: Building Excellence Through Commitment, the blueprint the University is following as it approaches its 150th anniversary in 2019.