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VNY Inspires 20 Future Fliers with Groundhog Job Shadow Day, Encouraging the Next Generation of Aeronautical Professionals

When most people think of “Groundhog Day,” they think of the past repeating itself, over and over. But this Groundhog Day was an opportunity to take a glimpse into the future: VNY hosted 20 local high school students and gave them a hands-on look at potential careers in aviation.

Together with Junior Achievement, VNY conducted Groundhog Job Shadow Day. Students from Francis Polytechnic High School went on a behind-the-scenes airport tour before “shadowing” various businesses on the airfield, including Aerolease, Bob Hoover's Jet Center, Castle and Cooke Aviation, Clay Lacy Aviation, Fire Station #114, MP Aero, North Valley Occupational Aviation Center, ROTOR FX, Skybird Aviation, Landmark Aviation, and a few VNY airport departments.

Mike Phillips, a teacher at the VNY-satellite campus of North Valley Occupational Center, received two students who were eager to learn. “The student response was very good,” he said. “We invited them to get hands-on with our electrical shop problems and then we covered learning, such as Ohm’s law and talked about how essential electrical work is in the field of aviation.” He added that the event was great exposure for the aviation program at North Valley Occupational Center. “We break it down into 50% class time, 50% shop time, working on hands-on, real projects on current aircraft equipment…so by the time a student completes the program, he or she is well-trained for a career in aviation.”

Besides educating students about the diverse array of jobs within the field of aviation, the event was an opportunity to emphasize the importance of supporting local aviation. Lety Miranda of MP Aero said, “We not only need to educate younger generations about how vital the aviation industry is to the Los Angeles region, but also expose students to the myriad of career opportunities available to them.”