This Black History Month, we are honored to highlight Southwest Airlines’ impact of investing in partnerships that help advance the education and empowerment of the Black community.
We are proud to partner with Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), such as Texas Southern University and Paul Quinn College, to invest in workforce development programs that introduce students to diverse career opportunities in the aviation industry.
Texas Southern University
In April 2022, we welcomed Texas Southern University (TSU) as a university partner in Southwest Airlines’ First Officer development and recruitment program: Destination 225º. TSU is the first HBCU to join Destination 225º and provides a pathway for qualified collegiate aviators to join the Southwest Airlines Team as professional Pilots.
Paul Quinn College
Last year we announced a partnership with Paul Quinn College to become the College’s first official airline and a member of the school’s celebrated Urban Work College Program. The program provides students with the opportunity to gain real-world work experience and is the only minority-serving, federally-recognized work college program in America. This partnership will include dedicated, paid internships along with ongoing educational opportunities.
At Southwest Airlines, we also understand the importance of investing in our youth as they represent the future as it relates to careers in aviation, aerospace technology, and STEM. Community programs such as Tuskegee NEXT and Boys in Aviation Day provide opportunities to inspire the next generation to pursue careers in aviation.
Since 2021, Southwest Airlines has partnered with Tuskegee NEXT by supporting programs such as the Summer Aviation Program, Aviation Fellowship Program, Aviation Day with Discovery Flights, and Aviation training for students across America. Last summer, we introduced their students to Southwest with a tour of our campus, networking session, and discussion on topics such as DEI, internships, and recruiting.
Boys in Aviation Day
In October 2022, Southwest Airlines partnered with the Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity Inc. Guide Right Program and the National Black Coalition of Federal Aviation Employees to host 50 students for our first Boys in Aviation Day. This event allowed young boys to learn about the many career opportunities at Southwest and tour different areas such as Network Operations Control (NOC), Tech Ops hangar, and training facilities for Pilots.
Additional organizations that Southwest Airlines partnered with this year include the Organization for Black Aerospace Professionals (OBAP), the National Association for Black Accountants (NABA), and the Black Marketing Association of America (BMAA).
We look forward to continuing these impactful partnerships and volunteer opportunities this year.