Hartsfield-Jackson launches new airport employment program for high school and college students

ATL Airport launches its new apprenticeship program for youths in Atlanta. (DorMiya Vance/WABE)

Hartsfield- Jackson International Airport has a new apprenticeship program that aims to “close the gap” in airport operations while allowing youth to “earn while they learn” various trade skills.

The program is a partnership between a few entities, including Atlanta Technical College, The Technical College System of Georgia and the Georgia Department of Labor. Together, they hope to create a school-to-jobs pipeline of skilled airport workers.

Students in the program are paid hourly while they work to master jobs in areas like facilities maintenance and security at ATL.

Victoria Seals, President of Atlanta Technical College, hopes the program will reemphasize the importance of skill-based employment.

“For a long time, these particular trade areas have kind of been pushed aside and not really valued as what they really are,” Seals said.

Recent high school graduates and college students can qualify for the program, but there are also “earn while you learn” opportunities available for current airport staff.

Meenaxi Rajput, a current airport employee and mentor with the new program, says the program allows students to build lasting skills and relationships.

“We have orientations. We get to connect with them, we get to understand, listen [to] what they want, and what their strengths are, and then channel it and then align it with the corporate’s view and make them ready,” she said.

The program lasts two to three years, depending on the department. Anyone interested can apply through the City of Atlanta Career website.