Home » Long Beach Airport (LGB) » 6-26-23 Long Beach Airport Launches Externship for Local High School Students

Long Beach Airport Launches Externship for Local High School Students

Careers Taking Flight1
Kate Kuykendall
Public Affairs Officer
Long Beach Airport

Long Beach Airport (LGB) kicked off its first Careers Taking Flight Externship Program last week, with 13 students from Cabrillo and Jordan high schools learning about a wide variety of aviation careers and how to make themselves competitive for future positions.

"Long Beach's deep-rooted connection to the aviation sector, which contributes to our local economy, has always been a source of pride for our city," said Mayor Rex Richardson. "Today, I am happy to announce the launch of Long Beach Airport's innovative summer externship program, creating remarkable opportunities for our future leaders.” 

In partnership with the Long Beach Unified School District, students were selected through a competitive process—from a pool of more than 60 applicants—to take part in the uplifting opportunity.   

“Long Beach Airport has created a unique, hands-on, paid summer externship program that provides LBUSD students the opportunity to explore an array of careers in aviation,” said Michelle Thomassian, Administrator, Business Engagements and Strategic Partnerships for the Long Beach Unified School District. “We are beyond grateful to the Airport for taking such a collaborative and student-centered approach to workforce development. The LBUSD business partner community is instrumental in empowering and preparing our brilliant students to get their dreams off the ground.”   

Over the course of the 40-hour, five-day program, students learned about the job duties, pay and credentials required for more than a dozen careers working for airports, airlines, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and the business aviation sector.  

Students who successfully completed the full course received a $500 incentive payment. Participants also were offered a free exploration flight on the final day of the program through Chapter Seven of the Experimental Aircraft Association’s Young Eagles program. Since its inception in 1992, the Young Eagles program has given more than two million young people ages 8 to 17 the opportunity to fly in a general aviation airplane. 

The summer externship was the start of a newly established Long Beach Airport Careers Taking Flight program, a suite of programming designed to provide students from grade school to college with different opportunities to gain a basic understanding of career opportunities within the aviation world as well as general knowledge about LGB and its industry partners. Beyond the externship program, future programs will include a paid summer internship for high school students, anticipated to launch for summer 2024. 

Partners who provided tours or guest speakers for the high school students included Aeroplex Group Partners, Atlantic Aviation, the Federal Aviation Administration, FlightSafety International, SoCal Jet Services, Southwest Airlines, Swinerton Builders and the Transportation Security Administration. 

“This program will lead to bright opportunities and rewarding careers for these students, and we thank our partners for their participation and engagement in helping us inspire tomorrow's aviation professionals,” said Long Beach Airport Director Cynthia Guidry. 

The Careers Taking Flight program aligns with goals outlined in the Long Beach’s Racial Equity and Reconciliation Initiative to eliminate social and economic disparities in communities most impacted by racism. The program also supports goals of the City’s Strategic Plan for Youth and Emerging Adults, which centers around academic and job training needs of youth. 

LGB encompasses 1,166 acres and has three runways. It is unique among municipal airports for its diverse portfolio of Class A office buildings, hotels, retail, industrial facilities and a municipal golf course. Air carriers at Long Beach Airport—including Southwest Airlines, Delta Air Lines and Hawaiian Airlines—currently offer service to 24 nonstop destinations around the nation, which is more nonstop service than at any time in LGB’s nearly 100-year history. 

About the City of Long Beach
Home to approximately 470,000 people, the multiple award-winning and innovative City of Long Beach offers all the world-class amenities of a large metropolitan city while maintaining a strong sense of individual and diverse neighborhoods nestled together along the California coast. As a full-service charter city, Long Beach is home to the Queen Mary, Aquarium of the Pacific, several museums and theaters, a highly-rated school district, Long Beach Airport, the Port of Long Beach, as well as many award-winning City departments such as Health, Parks, Recreation and Marine, Development Services and more. The City also has a highly-respected university and city college, two historic ranchos, five hospitals, five golf courses, 166 parks, miles of beaches, marinas, bike paths, and a Bike Share program. 

For more information about the City of Long Beach, visit longbeach.gov/. Follow us on social to keep up with the latest news: FacebookTwitterInstagram, and YouTube

About Long Beach Airport
Founded in 1923, Long Beach Airport (LGB) is the oldest airport in California. Among its many awards, LGB was named one of the 2022 Top Ten airports in the country by readers of Condé Nast Traveler magazine. LGB offers non-stop service to several U.S. cities while supporting a healthy general aviation community with more than 300,000 annual operations. The Airport is also a source of substantial economic activity and employment, with the LGB Aviation Complex generating $8.6 billion in economic impact and supporting 46,000 jobs. LGB is a self-supporting enterprise of the City of Long Beach and does not receive local tax dollars. The Airport prides itself in preserving its esteemed historic legacy and maintaining a safe, sustainable, and environmentally responsible operation. Follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter @LGBAirport.