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Long Beach Airport Expands High School Externship Program

Careers Taking Flight5


Kate Kuykendall
Public Affairs Officer
Long Beach Airport

Long Beach, CA – Long Beach Airport (LGB) kicked off its annual Careers Taking Flight Externship Program this week, doubling the size of the program in its second year with two, 12-student cohorts 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 Airport’s summer externship really propels students toward bright futures, uplifting young, talented individuals to new heights to land promising careers in the aviation industry,” said Mayor Rex Richardson. “Long Beach's deep-rooted connection to the aviation sector, which is a major contributor to our local economy, has always been a source of pride for our city.”

Over the course of a 40-hour, five-day program, students in each cohort learn 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.

Partners providing tours or guest speakers for the high school students include Aeroplex/Aerolease Group, Atlantic Aviation, Delta Air Lines, the Federal Aviation Administration, FlightSafety International, Fly Compton Foundation, Hawaiian Airlines, JetZero, Long Beach Aero, SoCal Jet Services, Southwest Airlines and the Transportation Security Administration.

In partnership with the Long Beach Unified School District (LBUSD), students were selected through a competitive application and interview process to take part in the opportunity. Students who successfully completed the full course received a $500 incentive payment.

Two graduates from the 2023 externship program were selected this year for a full summer internship to serve as leaders for the next cohort and to learn more about Airport operations. Funding for the internship is provided by LBUSD.

“Long Beach Unified is thrilled to partner with Long Beach Airport for the Careers Taking Flight Externship Program,” said Superintendent Dr. Jill A. Baker. “This initiative provides our students with invaluable exposure to the aviation industry and equips them with the skills and knowledge to pursue exciting career opportunities.”

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 is part of Long Beach Airport’s Careers Taking Flight suite of programming designed to provide students from grade school to college with different opportunities to gain a basic understanding of careers within the aviation world as well as general knowledge about LGB and its industry partners.  

“I’m so proud of the way Long Beach Airport is engaged in showcasing diverse career pathways within the aviation industry and opening up a world of opportunities for future professionals,” said Long Beach Airport Director Cynthia Guidry. “I’m also grateful to our partners for their participation and engagement in helping us inspire and empower the next generation of aviation leaders.” 

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
Long Beach is nestled along the Southern California coast and home to approximately 466,000 people. As an award-winning full-service charter city, Long Beach offers the amenities of a metropolitan city while maintaining a strong sense of individual and diverse neighborhoods, culture and community. With a bustling downtown and over six miles of scenic beaches, Long Beach is a renowned tourist and business destination and home to the iconic Queen Mary, nationally recognized Aquarium of the Pacific and Long Beach Airport, award-winning Long Beach Convention and Entertainment Center and world-class Port of Long Beach.

For more information about the City of Long Beach, visit longbeach.gov/. Follow us on social to keep up with the latest news: FacebookXInstagram and YouTube. More information about Long Beach Airport is available at lgb.org and on Facebook, Instagram and X @LGBAirport. 


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