Brian Smith
Brian Smith, president of the Tuskegee Airmen National Museum, spoke March 10, 2023, about a new $500,000 grant to support the museum’s effort to train students for aviation careers. A mini career fair will take place Thursday to prepare Detroiters to apply for a federal aviation academy. (Photo by Quinn Banks)

The Tuskegee Airmen National Museum is hosting an air traffic control career fair this week to recruit and prepare Detroiters to apply for a federal training academy.

The museum’s “Air Traffic Control Mini Career Fair” will run from 5:30-7:30 p.m. Thursday at the Coleman A. Young International Airport, 11499 Conner, officials said in a Tuesday news release.

Air traffic controllers take command of the sky,” Brian Smith, president of the Tuskegee Airmen National Museum, said in a statement. “These are six-figure salaried jobs that not many people even know exist. We want to give local people the chance to have an exciting career in aviation that pays well and offers excellent benefits in a dynamic work environment.” 

On average, air traffic controllers earn about $138,000 a year with 23 paid vacation days, plus healthcare, pension and other benefits, officials with the national museum noted. 

During Thursday’s event, museum staff will walk potential candidates through the process of applying for a spot in the next class of the Federal Aviation Administration Academy. The FAA will begin accepting applications in June for the academy open to individuals between the ages of 18-30 with three years of work experience and who pass the FAA pre-employment test. 

“Detroit hustles harder than anyplace else in the country,” Smith added. “Our goal is to make sure the people who sign up with us will be ready to compete and win a chance at a great career.”

The career fair comes weeks after the museum announced it had received a $500,000 federal grant to train high school students to be pilots and for work in other aviation careers. The Tuskegee museum was the only site in Michigan to receive the award.

The museum is currently training 20 students in its program and is looking to fill the next class with 30 students beginning May 18 and another class in October. The training program is open to high school students ages 14-19 who have at least a 2.0 grade point average and an interest in aviation. To sign up, click here. The museum also kicks off aviation summer camps in June.

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