Skills for Chicagoland’s Future
United is proud to partner with Skills for Chicagoland’s Future in its mission to help unemployed and underemployed residents re-enter the workforce. In 2015, we exceeded our joint hiring goal with Skills by extending 36 job offers to candidates that Skills referred. We raised our partnership hiring goal for 2016 and are on track to achieve it once again.
And to increase the value of the program, we’ve added a question on our online application asking candidates if we may share their profile with Skills; we’ve referred more than 7,000 candidates who have the potential to be great matches for other companies in the Chicago area. United was one of the featured employers and sponsors at Skills for Chicagoland’s Future’s first Employment Champions Breakfast, which was also attended by Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel.
United partners with Cristo Rey, a Jesuit high school in the Pilsen neighborhood on the southwest side of Chicago. Cristo Rey provides a corporate work-study program that encourages continuing education and professional growth for its students. The program allows student workers to earn 70 percent of their tuition at Cristo Rey while getting real-world employment experience. More than 90 percent of these student workers continue on to pursue a college education.
United is sponsoring two students who work one day per week supporting administrative functions in our Corporate Support Center. We are excited to partner with Cristo Rey as it allows us to continue to support our communities here in Chicago, promote diversity efforts and also support future talent pipelines for United.
In 2015, the campus recruiting team attended nearly 60 college career fairs, including several hiring conferences. We continued our partnership with ROMBA (Reaching Out MBA), which empowers LGBT MBA students to become working professionals, by hosting an NOC tour as well as attending the ROMBA Career Fair. United works with this organization to not only hire some of its members but also to show our corporate support.
Campus recruiting also partnered with the Thurgood Marshall College Fund (TMCF) for its 15th annual Leadership Institute. TMCF helps students acquire a high-quality college education at an affordable cost. More than 80 percent of all students enrolled in historically black colleges and universities attend TMCF member schools. We were successful in hiring four students from the 2015 event; all of them started work in 2016.
In 2015, our Talent Acquisition team sought veterans from all branches of the military to bring their talents and skills to our United team. We are honored to have hired 307 veterans in 2015 for various positions: pilots, flight attendants, mechanics, sales, food services and management and administrative roles. Our Talent Acquisition team attended 20 military veteran, disability and diversity career fairs across the United States.
We have strong relationships with the Veteran Jobs Mission Coalition, Hiring Our Heroes – U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Wounded Warrior Project, the Office of Warrior Care Policy for injured soldiers and the Joint Employment Management System (JEMS) at Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii. We promoted our positions at Military Installations Transitions Centers on social media, and attended Transition Assistance Programs (TAP) on bases. In addition, we established relationships with the Department of Labor and utilized their outreach with veterans.
United recruiters attended conferences sponsored by a variety of aviation organizations:
- National Gay Pilots Association: Pilot recruiters spoke with approximately 273 attendees in one day. We also provided silent auction items and had a significant presence among the major airlines that attended.
- Women in Aviation: At the 2015 WAI conference in March, pilot recruiters spoke with approximately 1,176 attendees over a two-and-a-half day period. We continued to be the sole host for the luncheon, which is the best-attended event of the conference.
- Organization of Black Aerospace Professionals: We met approximately 623 attendees at the organization’s conference in August, and our Senior Vice President of Flight Operations, Howard Attarian, was the luncheon speaker. Additionally, we coordinated a meeting with OBAP’s top 20 volunteers, 14 of whom we hired as pilots in the subsequent year, and sponsored a breakfast and career expo for non-pilots who were exiting the military.
- 89th Airlift Wing: In cooperation and partnership with the Air Line Pilots Association (ALPA), the United pilot recruiting team and HR Senior Vice President Mike Ellis attended an inaugural recruiting event on Joint Andrews Air Force Base for those nearing their exit from the military. This was an extremely well received event that has resulted in exceptional hires for United. The 89th is the division of the Air Force that flies Air Force One and Two.
- Aviation Accreditation Board International: We attended the AABI conference to partner with educational institutions on accrediting aviation programs at targeted institutions as well as understanding concerns of aviation and industry leaders, including the pilot shortage.
We took part in a variety of outreach activities throughout the year. At the request of the Air Line Pilots Association (ALPA), we supported a series of webinars for regional carriers, military, and friends and family. The webinars were a cost-effective way to provide information on our pilot hiring process to a wide and diverse audience of about 3,000 participants. And with the ALPA National Education Committee, our team recently introduced students at Metropolitan State University to the United pilot and intern program.
We hired 42 interns in 2015, following recruitment visits at universities including the University of North Dakota, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, Purdue University, Auburn, Delaware State and Utah Valley.
In 2015 we developed a program with Airline Training Center Arizona (ATCA) that gives flight instructors who meet stringent requirements an opportunity to become United pilots after 18 months/1,500 hours as an ATCA flight instructor. Additionally, we developed a career path program for CommutAir pilots who meet specific requirements, which may give them an opportunity to become United pilots as seniority, class dates and contract allow.
And we continued to partner with Shades of Blue and its president, United pilot Willie Daniels, to support mentoring efforts at elementary, middle and high schools with special emphasis on STEM programs. Shades of Blue has created space and aerospace camps and a ground school for students with diverse ethnic, cultural, gender and socio-economic backgrounds. We then introduced Shades of Blue to the Denver Schools of Science and Technology, and a partnership may result as both programs have common goals in motivating students to pursue STEM careers.