Date: Feb 05, 2001
Press Release Number: 15-2001
The Port Authority and the aviation industry have donated $1.5 million to continue funding the Council for Airport Opportunity, a not-for-profit organization that for the past 20 years has successfully recruited minority and disadvantaged local residents for aviation jobs in Queens, New York, and Newark, New Jersey.
\"The Port Authority is once again joining with our airlines, tenants and our other partners in the aviation industry to create opportunities for thousands of people for whom careers in aviation might otherwise be an impossible dream,\" said William R. DeCota, Director of Aviation for the Port Authority.
The Council for Airport Opportunity was born as a result of a 1972 task force on airport opportunity sponsored by the Port Authority, members of the aviation industry and New York and New Jersey community leaders, in order to address industry-related employment and economic development issues. The council has since helped more than 40,000 New York City and Newark residents find employment in the aviation field, providing educational programs in personal, academic and vocational skills, and working with high school and college students considering careers in aviation. The Port Authority provides 30 percent of the funding. The balance is donated by the airlines at the New York-New Jersey region\'s three major airports - LaGuardia, Newark International and John F. Kennedy International.
\"Over the years the Council for Airport Opportunity has repeatedly proven that meaningful results can come out of partnerships between the public sector and private industry,\" said Linda Johnson, Business Development Project Manager for the Port Authority. \"In 1999, the Council for Airport Opportunity helped more than 2,400 New York and New Jersey residents get work in this industry. It\'s very gratifying to help people find and follow new career paths. The funding makes it possible to continue this very important work.\"
The New York program serves communities surrounding John F. Kennedy International and LaGuardia airports. The New Jersey program serves those near Newark International Airport. A Board of Directors oversees the program, with separate New York and New Jersey program committees. The Board is comprised of a broad cross-section of the aviation industry and local officials, including the Port Authority, airlines and other airport tenants, the Queens Borough President\'s office, the Federal Aviation Administration and the cities of New York and Newark.