Jet Linx Continues to Propel Burke Air and Space Academy
With a partnership formed in 2019, Burke Air and Space Academy (BASA) students now have direct access to exciting opportunities at private aviation leader Jet Linx, such as internships, mentorships and pipelines to aviation careers through the Destination 225° program. Dee Ruleaux, Jet Linx Director of Recruiting and Industry Partnerships, serves as the Chair of the Burke Air and Space Academy Advisory Board. From the outset, the Jet Linx partnership with BASA has provided both foundational and material support to the program and its students, and Jet Linx sees far more on the horizon.
Through Ruleaux’s participation on the BASA Advisory Board, she has been able to allocate resources aimed at improving the performance and effectiveness of the academy. In the summer of 2020, Scott McGregor, Chief Operating Officer at Jet Linx, spent an afternoon with Air and Space Academy leadership and performed a SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats) analysis. Based on the results of this exercise, a survey was sent out to all board members to rank action items for the academy.
“The BASA Board had previously discussed the importance of putting together a strategic plan through a SWOT analysis, and I knew that Scott was in a perfect position to help the Academy with his expertise,” Ruleaux noted. “This was a big step to define targets and areas of weakness where the academy could improve. We spent an entire afternoon with Scott to run the analysis and interpret the results, which were added to the five-year plan, used to determine what kind of support will be needed for sustained success and improvement.”
Ruleaux also helps to make Jet Linx team members accessible to students through webinars and virtual open houses. Ruleaux, alongside Jason Metz, Jet Linx Talent Sourcer, participated at Burke’s virtual open house in 2020, where they provided information on career opportunities at Jet Linx and in private aviation. During classroom hours, a number of Jet Linx pilots have made themselves available (virtually) to BASA students to answer questions about aviation careers and provide insights on how to best take advantage of the opportunities they have before them.
“The virtual format allowed a number of students and parents to ask questions and learn more about the opportunities offered in aviation, and what pathways Jet Linx offers for graduates of the Air and Space Academy. We actually saw an increase in participation in 2020,” Ruleaux explained.
Material, Educational and Inspirational Support
In December 2019, Ruleaux coordinated a trip to Southwest Airline’s headquarters in Dallas, where BASA students received a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to tour training facilities and interact with professionals at Southwest – a real life example of what would be possible through the Destination 225° program.
While the pandemic in 2020 hampered physical gatherings, Jet Linx found ways to provide material support to BASA by way of designing shirts for students to wear at the academy. Jordan Maddex-Kopp, Jet Linx Vice President of Marketing and Strategic Partnerships, further aided BASA with a rebranding that included a new logo, which is now featured on the shirts, as well as updated signage and overhauls of other marketing collateral.
The rounded support offered by Jet Linx – ranging from the foundational to the material level – ensures that the next generation of aviators have the resources and tools needed to break into the industry. BASA students have world-class facilities – evidenced by an award designating it as the best academy in the state of Nebraska in 2020. With support boosted by Jet Linx, the possibilities become much closer to reality.
“We’re thrilled with the advancements made in so short a time at BASA,” Ruleaux emphasized. “These students are truly the future of the industry and Jet Linx is thrilled to help them succeed. It’s amazing to think that they’re working and learning just down the street from our National Operations Center in Omaha, and I have no doubt that one day they’ll be filling seats in our offices here and across the nation.”
The support runs both ways. BASA students participated in a Jet Linx-organized event for Women in Aviation International’s Girls In Aviation Day in 2020, and they also supported fundraising efforts for Dare2Tutu, a nonprofit that Jet Linx has supported for numerous years, which aids breast cancer patients and their families.
To learn more about the Burke Air and Space Academy visit www.burkeaviation.org. To learn more about the Jet Linx Destination 225° program, visit www.jetlinx.com/dest225.