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Promoting Diversity in the Workplace at Allegheny County Airport Authority 

Promoting diversity in the workplace is a key component to the recent growth and success of the Allegheny County Airport Authority.

In the next five years, more than one-fourth of the jobs at the Airport Authority will likely have turnover through retirements and attracting new, diverse talent is a priority.

In preparation of this anticipated turnover, and as a part of its Corporate Equity and Inclusion Initiative, the Airport Authority is actively attending diversity job fairs in search of local talent that represent a mix of races, cultures, genders and veterans.  

Philip Sambar, an airport Customer Service Representative, is an example of an applicant hired through attending a diversity career fair held at the Marriot City Center hotel, Downtown. Sambar, a University of Pittsburgh graduate, said diversity is an asset for his position at Pittsburgh International Airport.

“Millions of people come through Pittsburgh International, and they come to Pittsburgh from all over the world,” Sambar said. “I think that it’s such a powerful thing that the Airport Authority is a part of diversity career fairs, because our passengers themselves are diverse. Showing them that there is diversity in the airport, and that diversity is accepted, is a powerful first impression. I’m so thankful that I’m part of an organization that accepts all people, and accepts new ideas and growth.”

The Airport Authority currently attends the Professional Diversity Network Annual Diversity Career Fair, Urban League Diversity Job Fair, Hiring Expo For All (Operation Hire a Veteran) and NEED (Negro Educational Emergency Drive) internship fairs for minority college students, among others.

“We want to make Pittsburgh International and Allegheny County Airport reflect the region they serve,” Airport Authority CEO Christina Cassotis (pictured) said. “With that, it is so important to encourage diversity, and attending diversity job and internship fairs is just one way in which we can promote that initiative.”

At these events, Airport Authority representatives recruit candidates for available positions in the following departments: professional, administrative, maintenance and skilled-labor positions. Michele Johnson, Human Resources Generalist for the Airport Authority, is actively involved in ensuring that the organization is present at diversity job fairs.

Johnson represents the Airport Authority at diversity job fairs, and takes part in the hiring process. She is often accompanied by a senior staff member or a hiring manager.

“The Allegheny County Airport Authority participates in diversity job fairs for several different reasons,” Johnson said. “They [diversity job fairs] allow the opportunity for face-to-face interaction and provide the Airport Authority with access to a large number of candidates at once. Most importantly, job fairs enable our organization to reach more diverse candidates and to increase awareness of our brand within the community.”

Along with diversity job fairs, the Airport Authority searches for potential job candidates at industry specific job fairs, such as the Pittsburgh Technology Council Hire UP. For the Airport Authority, these events are not only methods for recruiting employees, they are also ideal networking opportunities to build relationships with candidates for future openings.

 

Employment opportunities with the Airport Authority are listed on its website at http://www.flypittsburgh.com/ACAA_employment. Applicants interested in applying for a listed position must send a cover letter and résumé to the ACAA via US mail or e-mail.

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